Subcontractor accuses contractor of failing to pay workers

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Jimmy Rivera said he learned about James Fouse the hard way.

"He seemed trustworthy. I didn't know the background or what not," he said.

Rivera said Fouse hired him to do subcontracting work at two separate properties in November and December. However, he said Fouse only paid him once and is still out $1,385. Rivera said his crew is still waiting for payment as well.

"They have a family. I have a family. [We] went through Christmas with no money," he said.

Rivera soon discovered he's not alone.

"Well, my wife had did some research and she found his name," he recalled.

His wife found the FOX 17 Problem Solvers' articles online that feature Fouse and multiple customers who said he took their deposits, did little to no work and never returned.
So FOX 17 went to one of the business' Fouse is currently associated with to see what he had to say.

When presented with specific dollar amounts, Fouse claimed $700 was all Rivera was owed. The contractor mentioned receipts that show payment, so we asked to see them.

The receipt Fouse presented read $435 and 'paid in full' to Rivera with a date of December 1st.

Rivera said the receipt from December 1st only covers the first week of work on just one of the two projects. Text messages from Fouse related to the second job were exchanged throughout December, as well as January.

Rivera read a text from Fouse, "Sorry I did not have it on hand. I would have paid you in full."

The subcontractor wants to make others are aware of his regrets of putting trust in Fouse sight unseen.

"At one point he's even said, 'Well, I don't have any money either.' Well, where's this money going?" Rivera questioned.

He said he has no other choice but to take Fouse to small claims court.

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