Woman warns of alleged faulty handy man in Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A Grand Rapids woman called up the FOX 17 Problem Solvers after she said that a contractor tried to do her wrong.

The contractor, James Fouse has been featured by the Problem Solvers before, with people who have said that he never showed up after getting paid.

After reaching an agreement with Fouse in August, 2015, the woman claims she got a bad feeling in her stomach. A quick Google search turned up several reports on media outlets about him.

She stopped the check just in time, but the store where he cashed the canceled check says they are out $1,500 dollars.

The homeowner is now warning others to beware of contracting ads on Craigslist.

A couple weeks ago, Karen Boening went on Craigslist and came across an ad of a man claiming to be a jack-of-all-trades. It was Fouse. She said that she met up with him on August 26th, took a tour of a rental duplex in need of repair, but he didn't take any notes.

Boening said that she wrote him a check for half the agreed amount, totaling $1,500 dollars.

Hours later, she got a bad feeling about Fouse. She said that she waited hours for him to show up on the first day of work, but he never came. She then canceled the check, but he was still able to cash it as Family Pantry in Grand Rapids.

"I never got her money. The check as stopped and I gave the $1,500 dollars back to the people I cashed the check with," said Fouse.

"You gave them the money back at Family Pantry?" asked FOX 17.

"Of course. I go there every other day," said Fouse.

A quick call to the owner of Family Pantry suggested otherwise.

When asked if Fouse paid the $1,500 dollars back, the owner  of Family Pantry responded, "No he didn't... He's a liar." The owner said that he plans to take Fouse to court over the money.

After reading online about Fouse's past, Boening canceled the entire deal.

"I said, yes I've found out all, everything I wanted to know about you," said Boening.

Fouse tells FOX 17 that he's been in trouble in the past, but stands by his work.

"When you get it on Craigslist, you really got to search, and I wished I would have more," said Boening.

Boening also said that when Fouse showed up for their first meeting, he was wearing a company shirt, saying he didn't need his own license or insurance because it was covered through his employer.

She said that employer told her Fouse hasn't been employed by them in months.

It's important to note Fouse hasn't been charged with any kind of crime in this case, and everything is just an allegation against him.

Last year, we reached out to prosecutors about why it's difficult to get a conviction in these kinds of cases. You can read more about that here.

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10 comments

  • James Fouse

    The truth be none I turned her down once I found out her son is a child molester he is facing charges now and on bound for it im a lot of thing but im not hiding from my past I have one and im not hiding from it it my past

    • Bruce

      Give the store their money back then if you’re such a good person. I doubt being around a child molester is very scary for an adult, at least it wouldn’t be to me

    • Karen Boening

      You better be focusing on yourself as the crimes you have done and are creating more as well. As of today you are still posting ads on Craigslist and creating more fraud to swindle some more suckers from your lies and scams. You need to work for money, not steal. Shame on you! You need to behind bars. Just Google your name/grand rapids tells it all!!

  • Ella

    Let’s see…… I’ll go on Craigs List & look for a “handyman”. THIS guy shows up – no license, no references, lady just hands him a $1500 check without doing a online search for him. Unreal. It’s hard to feel sorry for people in these cases.
    And if that really is Foust that posted here he can’t even put a simple coherent sentence together. I doubt he speaks any better than he writes…

  • james

    Fox 17 there not on there job there airing my uncle for what they say I did wow that’s how the news works print what they want there are 5 of us with the same name

    • Karen Boening

      This is YOU! Don’t try to blame anyone else for your problem and what you have done to others with all your lies. You are nothing but a thieve!

  • Patricia Morton

    I can’t even believe you commented on here Jr fouse omg really your really bright old people really I knew you were a know good person karma will get you just remember that

  • Marion genia

    Yes u r such a good person u even rip off the workers u hire i know 2of them u did. You told them u used it on another job. And u never paid them. So not only do u rip off the ppl who hire u but u rip off the ppl that do the work for u to.
    And before u try and cast stones look at your own rap sheet. And the many ppl u have ripped off