Lee Koeller booking photo, courtesy of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department

By Shereen Siewert

A 57-year-old Kronenwetter man is facing felony charges in two area counties, including charges of theft by contractor in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Lee Koeller booking photo, courtesy of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department

Lee A. Koeller was first charged Oct. 31 in Marathon County in response to allegations by a Wausau homeowner that she paid Koeller thousands of dollars for work at two separate homes that was never performed. Court documents allege that Koeller asked the homeowner to pay a portion of the work estimate up front more than a year earlier. The homeowner said she paid Koeller $3,850 by check for the $6,409 project, which was to be completed within about eight weeks.

But Koeller never started the work, offering multiple excuses by phone and text, court documents state.

The alleged victim initially tried to report the problem to police, who told her the issue was a civil — not a criminal — matter, according to court documents. But the homeowner persisted, eventually contacting the Marathon County District Attorney’s office to file a complaint.

A second victim also reported paying Koeller, who operates Koeller Builds Plus LLC, $7,452 for work that was never performed, according to the criminal complaint.

In the Marathon County case, Koeller was summoned into court but failed to appear at a Nov. 14 hearing, prompting a judge to issue an arrest warrant. Koeller was arrested Dec. 18 and was transported to the Marathon County Jail, where he was released after posting a $900 cash bond. He faces two felony counts of theft by contractor.

Future court dates in Marathon County have not yet been set.

Now, Koeller is being summoned into Oneida County Circuit Court, this time for felony charges of theft in a business setting. Those charges were filed Dec. 20. An initial appearance is set for Jan. 13.