Troubleshooter: Still no jail time for contractor

Mike Luchansky speaks with Diane Wilson

December 7, 2009 9:00:00 PM PST
An unlicensed contractor at the center of several I-Team stories told us late last year that he was done running from the law and turned himself in to police. But months later, we found he's not paid his fine or done his time.

ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson started getting complaints about Mike Luchansky more than two years ago. Customers said he told them he was licensed, then took their money and didn't finish construction jobs.

Investigators say he left a string of victims in his Wake.

Carrie Lee paid him more than $30,000 for an addition he never finished.

"He's a con artist really, because he can talk a very big game," she said.

ABC11 set up a home with hidden cameras and invited Luchansky over to do an estimate. Then Troubleshooter Diane Wilson confronted him.

"You're acting as a licensed contractor, and you're not licensed," she alleged.

"I'm not acting as a licensed contractor," he told Wilson. "I'm licensed up to $30,000."

But we checked. There's no such license. By accepting work worth more than $30,000 without a license, investigators say Luchansky broke the law.

Cathleen Plaut - an attorney who represents the North Carolina licensing board for general contractors - took action against Luchansky. She says he admitted breaking the law and wanted to make things right. As part of the consent order, he agreed to spend 10 days in jail and pay a fine.

Weeks later, he has done neither. So, ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson went to confront him.

"Can you tell me why you haven't appeared in jail? You were supposed to be in jail Feb 12th and pay a fine," said Wilson.

"I'm working on it," Luchansky responded.

"You still could have gone to jail," said Wilson.

"I'm working on getting the money," he said.

"You were supposed to show up for jail Feb 12. You haven't shown up two weeks in a row," said Wilson.

"I'm working on it," he responded,

Plaut says she's heard the same promises from Luchansky. He keeps telling her he'll pay his fines and serve his time, but he still hasn't.

She hopes to get an arrest warrant for him soon. Once the warrant is served, he'll have to do 60 days in jail, as that was the alternative if he didn't show up for his 10 days in jail and pay the fine.

Luchansky was arrested late Thursday night after he failed to follow the consent order he signed, which stated that he would pay back money to two of his victims and do 10 days in jail.

He scheduled to be in court on Monday morning to face the criminal charges.

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