Metro-East News

Belleville construction company owner pleads guilty in scheme to defraud homeowners

A Belleville man pleaded guilty to defrauding homeowners through unfulfilled contracts to do remodeling and construction jobs in Missouri and Illinois, according to charges.

Andrew Kirchhoefer, 42, of Belleville, did business as Liberty International Operations Group, Inc. and Gateway Constructions Solutions, Inc., in Illinois and Missouri. He admitted to committing wire fraud from October 2014 to February 2016, according to U.S. Attorney Donald Boyce.

In a news release, Boyce said Kirchhoefer admitted to signing contracts with homeowners where he would request large down payments for jobs. After receiving the money, he would do little to no work on the projects.

He also pleaded guilty to failure to file a corporate federal income tax return. Kirchhoefer faces up to 21 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for June 15.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigations and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman R. Smith.

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Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6