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Summit Contracting won't fight fed. civil injunction as criminal investigation continues

(WBAY)
Published: Feb. 6, 2020 at 5:30 PM CST
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Summit Contracting, under federal investigation for wire fraud and banking violations, has agreed not to fight a civil injunction and says it won't commit fraud.

We have been following the De Pere-based company since last summer when we

who told us the contracting business was taking their money without finishing their projects, along with other complaints.

We aired our first report in October, when local law enforcement told us

.

In November, the U.S. Attorney's office filed a civil injunction in federal court, arguing summit was committing a "fraud scheme to rip off customers."

In December, the FBI

, but no charges have been filed.

Now, the civil case is officially closed, with Summit signing a consent decree.

Summit Contracting owners Chad Schampers and Nate Smith were supposed to appear in federal court in Green Bay Thursday afternoon, but instead signed a consent decree and judgment, not admitting any fault or wrongdoing but agreeing not to fight the civil case and promising not to commit fraud.

When federal prosecutors filed their civil case back in November, they argued Summit was committing wire fraud and banking violations by pressuring customers to hire Summit for home repair work.

Prosecutors say they would then convince customers to sign what they thought was pre-financing approval paperwork, but was instead signing off that Summit had completed contracting work, that in some cases, hadn't even been started, releasing the money to Summit and leaving customers on the hook for then paying the financing company.

By signing the decree, Summit agrees not to make false statements to financial institutions, not to misrepresent terms of financing to customers and not to require customers to sign paperwork concerning the completion of work until it's proven the work is done.

Several customers we've spoken with, on camera and off, have told us they felt threatened for saying something negative about Summit Contracting.

This decree prohibits Summit or anyone who works for the company from threatening or intimidating customers.

In court records filed in January, Summit argued it never told its sales reps to use high pressure sales techniques to lie, defraud, misrepresent or betray customers, writing the "day of its grand opening in De Pere last summer, it was raided by the FBI."

Summit's lawyers went on to write, the business "fully cooperated with the search warrant, notwithstanding being bewildered as to the basis."

It also writes, "Summit maintains that it never defrauded anybody, never made intentional misrepresentations to any lending institution or bank and never illegally wired money or did anything that could be characterized as wire fraud or bank fraud."

If Summit violates any of parts of this new decree and judgment, it could face civil or criminal penalties, but the court did not specify what those are.

As for

, investigators told us Thursday it is still very active.

They continue going through what they call "a lot" of records and documents and are conducting interviews based on information sent through that FBI questionnaire we told you about in December.

Anyone can submit information confidentially to investigators through that questionnaire at

.