Suspect booked in con case

archive_import /


A Twain Harte area man stands accused of swindling Tuolumne County customers out of more than $100,000 in home-building scams.

Michael William Takis, 28, of the 10800 block of Robin Hood Lane, was booked Monday on suspicion of obtaining property or cash under false pretenses, diverting construction funds and forgery. He has since been released on $50,000 bail.

Takis, represented by Sonora attorney Jim Webster, will be arraigned at 8:15 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26, in Tuolumne County Superior Court.

The arrest followed a months-long investigation by the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office and the Contractors State License Board and came as a relief to the purported victims.

"It's about time," Kathleen Rustrum said when told of the arrest. "That guy cost me a lot of money. ? But compared to the others, I got off easy."

Rustrum said that last year, she paid Takis and his firm, AAA Services, $13,400 for managing the design and construction of a home in Willow Springs, but he never delivered.

According to court and investigative records, Takis conned Suzie Wirths, planning to build a home near Twain Harte, out of $32,400. And he's accused of taking Nick Creton, building a house outside Columbia, for $54,758.

Also, Takis never paid draftsman Bill Rutherford of Tuolumne $5,000 for design work he had done on the homes, records say.

"I have a nice-looking check here, but unfortunately, his account never had any money in it," said Rutherford, who described Takis as "full of bravado, but not very bright."

Also, investigators say, Takis misrepresented himself to banks, lenders and title companies.

Jeff Miller, an investigator with the Contractors License Board's Statewide Fraud Team, began working on the case late last year.

"He had the silver-tongued-devil syndrome going," Miller said. "He'd sell you a bill of goods and get you hooked. Once he had a few thousand dollars of your money, it was much harder to tell him to take a hike."

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Monday May 2, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Rim Fire recovery plan released


Federal custodians of the Stanislaus National Forest are publishing a plan today ... more

Director resigns as infighting continues


Bryan Adcox has resigned from the Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors ... more

Agencies eye upgrade for 1970s-era software


Tuolumne County has changed quite a bit since the 1970s, but its ... more

Courthouse Square: Where the green grass grows


An extensive, lengthy and highly visible rehabilitation of the historic Courthouse Square ... more

Cal Fire confirms PG&E caused Butte Fire


Bill and Aileen Charamuga said in September they believed they knew exactly ... more