After years of complaints, suburban contractor lands behind bars

William Vranicar sits behind bars in Will County together with his bond set at $800,000.

He’s accused of stealing a complete of greater than $100,000 from suburban households who employed him to transform their kitchens and loos. They declare he took their money however by no means completed the roles.

WGN Investigates first reported on the households’ allegations in November 2020.

Donna Theimer and her husband are among the many complainants.

“I’m sort of shocked,” Theimer mentioned. “I can’t consider he’s been arrested.”

William Vranicar

They employed Vranicar to transform a toilet of their Shorewood house. They paid his firm $17,000 up entrance, with one other $6,000 due upon completion. However they mentioned the work wasn’t accomplished and accuse Vranicar of refusing to return their cash.

He now faces greater than 20 felonies, together with theft by deception, cash laundering and monetary establishment fraud.

“That is most likely one of many largest [cases] I’ve seen shortly,” Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley mentioned.

He mentioned his workplace investigated Vranicar for greater than 18 months earlier than fees had been lastly filed.

“That is no totally different than breaking into somebody’s home, in my view,” Kelley mentioned. “Not solely are you taking their cash, however now you’re forcing them to truly go rent another person. To spend cash to do the work that you just didn’t end.”

Vranicar’s arrest brings closure to the Theimer household, who posted movies about their expertise on social media, to assist unfold the phrase about his alleged misdeeds. In all, they mentioned they’ve heard from greater than 100 individuals who labored with the contractor. 

“It wasn’t in regards to the cash,” Donna Theimer mentioned. “It was about stopping him from doing this to another person.”

In an electronic mail to WGN Investigates, Jeff Tomczak, Vranicar’s legal professional, mentioned, “We intend to carry the State to its burden of proof on this case. We are also presently investigating how this punitive bail bond quantity, properly in extra of that in most homicide circumstances, was entered on this matter.”

Vranicar’s bail was authentic set at greater than $2 million. It was lowered this week to $800,000. He must pay 10%, or $80,000, however has been unable to take action and stays behind bars.