Couple Says They Lost $2,800 To Former Grove Campground Owners

Friday, August 23rd 2013, 11:12 pm
By: News On 6

Sheriff's deputies have a couple behind bars, believed to have been selling broken dreams.

Stephen and Pamela Stultz face embezzlement charges for their role in a cabin building business near Grand Lake.

We spoke with a couple who put a down payment on a dream home that never materialized.

The Hokes say it was supposed to be their retirement getaway, and that they made the down payment on the cabin with retirement money.

"We knew our money was probably gone, but we wanted somebody to be held accountable for that," said Carol Hoke.

Carol and Greg Hoke say, back in February, they paid Stephen Stultz $2,800 to build a cabin for them on some - now empty - property in Grove.

8/23/2013 Related Story: Former Grove Campground Owners Face Multiple Embezzlement Charges

"Have a little retirement cabin, we were really excited the day we ordered it," Carol said.

The Hokes say the Grand View Campground, owned by Steven and Pamela Stultz, used to have at least six cabins on it. They say Stultz told them he was getting cabin shells from a supplier, and would finish the insides himself.

"Make it into a real house, you know we install bathrooms, kitchens, washer and dryer and everything," Carol said. "He said he'd have it done in 30 days"

That 30 days stretched into three months.

"He would tell her or me, he'd give another excuse, or they didn't have enough money, or this or that or whatever," Greg said.

They say Stultz kept telling them he was having issues with the cabin supplier.

Carol said, when she asked for the supplier's information in May, Stultz told her only he could contact them.

"I said, 'We really wanted this, but if it's not going to happen, we need our money back. He said, 'Well, call me back in a couple of days.' And then when I called him back, it was disconnected," Carol said.

Carol said, at that point, she made the trip to Grove to see what was going on. She said, when she arrived at the campground, the weeds had grown up and almost all the cabins were gone, and Stultz wasn't anywhere to be found.

"I knew we had been had," Carol said.

According to the Sheriff's report, there were five similar complains filed in May alone.

The report goes on to say at least 12 victims, dating back to October, paid Stultz anywhere from $2,200 to $24,000.

Stultz told the sheriff, "The whole thing was a huge mistake, but we had no intention to hurt anyone."

"I don't know about that," Greg said.

"You know, a lot of people do things that's not malicious, but they're still wrong," Carol said.

The sheriff's report goes on to say that the couple has a history of fraud allegations.

The report says Stultz did business up in Iowa and Nebraska with a wind turbine company, in which an Iowa man said he lost $17,000. No charges were filed in that case.

The Stultz's appeared in a Delaware County courtroom Thursday and a judge set hearings for the couple later this month and in September.