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Man accused of stealing from derecho-damage victims in Cedar Rapids



A Cedar Rapids man, accused of taking advantage of four derecho-damage victims in Cedar Rapids, is now facing several charges for unfinished work.

According to Cedar Rapids police, Wayne Gott is facing two counts of 1st degree theft and two counts of 2nd degree theft after either starting and not completing or never starting four repair projects.

Investigators say they took four reports from victims who said Gott took their money but did not complete the work after signing a contract with his business called Construction Plus.

Report #1 on November 25, 2020: A victim reported signing a contract with Gott on September 16 and wrote a check for $12,751.50 to fix her back porch and retaining wall. Police say the job was started but not finished. Gott was also accused of using treated lumber, which does not meet Cedar Rapids compliance standards.

Report #2 on November 25, 2020: A victim reported signing a contract with Gott on October 3 and paying him $24,580.58. Gott is accused of not doing any of the work, not providing any materials and refused to give the victim a refund. Investigators followed the money and Gott is accused of buying a $10,000 van and took $8,500 in cash with that money meant for the repair project.

Report #3 on December 4, 2020: Police say a victim reported paying Gott $7,500 for a verbal agreement to fix derecho-damage repairs, but failed to do the work correctly and did not the job.

Report #4 on December 11, 2020: Investigators say a victim reported giving Gott $3,477.50 for a fence replacement and signed a contract on September 14. The victim said the work was never started and Gott is accused of never returning the money.

Police say they tried to speak with Gott about the accusations and was scheduled to meet with investigators on December 12 to bring documentation, proving he purchased materials for each job.

They said Gott did not meet with investigators that day after saying he was sick, instead promising to provide the information electronically. Investigators say the information was never provided.

Officers say a warrant was issued for Gott’s arrest and when he was located outside his home, he was arrested on all four theft charges. They also say Gott was found with marijuana and two glass pipes.

Gott was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was taken to the Linn County Jail but he has been released after posting bond.

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