Update 7/7/16 – Ed Earnest pleaded guilty to embezzling close to 20 thousand dollars from customers meaning he’s on probation for the next five years and must pay back customers in at least three counties.
In each case the contractor is accused of failing to deliver and install windows.
Oklahoma Assistant deputy attorney general, Abby Dillsaver, says earnest pocketed down payments.
“In most cases they were met with stone walling, refusal return phone calls, or an excuse that the manufacturer had a delay and in all instances none of the work was ever performed,” she said.
Customer Nikki Witcher says it’s like a bad dream she can't wake up from.
“[Earnest] made it to where I don't know who to trust and who not to trust,” she said.
In Nikki's case the state chose not to include her complaint in their case against the contractor.
“In evaluating which cases are best to file obviously we look at the evidence and in her particular case there was an issue about whether the siding had been delivered, then stolen and because it was contested we did not file on it,” Dillsaver said.
Earnest told investigators and us the materials he purchased for Nikki's job were stolen.
Nikki says she’s not buying that explanation.
“Yeah I don't know how his supplies were stolen, unless he came and took them,” she said.
What can't be disputed is the job never got done.
There is a bright spot for Nikki.
Even though the state didn't file her case she's still getting restitution.
As part of the plea deal Earnest must refund her family close to $10,000.
“I'm one of those people I'll believe it when I see it,” Nikki said.
EL RENO, Okla. - Our In Your Corner team has new details involving contractor Edward Earnest.
Friday was our first glimpse of Earnest since the state charged him with embezzling thousands of dollars from customers.
Chief Assistant Attorney General Julie Bays is pursing charges on behalf of at least three customers in Comanche and Canadian counties.
“We allege that he took money for windows and installation of windows and never supplied the windows and did any of the work,” she said.
In Nikki Witcher's case, it was new siding that never showed.
Bays said, even though Nikki's complaint wasn't grouped into the original charges, Nikki and her family can still receive restitution.
“I decided to file the three non-contested [cases],” she said. “He took their money, and he didn't give them anything, as opposed to her case, where he's saying supplies were stolen.”
Last year, Earnest told us his company went belly up, and he was filing bankruptcy.
While prosecutors pursue the criminal case, they're welcoming any additional complaints from the public.
“We believe there's probably more victims out there that he has taken money from and never completed the work,” Bays said.
Earnest will be back in court in May.
We'll keep you posted on things.