Local contractor sentenced for grand theft after taking money, not finishing job

TROY — A Tipp City man who prosecutors said accepted more than $20,000 in payments from a couple for cabinets for their home then never completed the project was sentenced this week in Miami County to probation and restitution.

Mark Gausel, 58, was charged with grand theft and found guilty by a county Common Pleas Court jury in August.

He was sentenced Monday by Judge Stacy Wall. Gausel was approached by the Newton Twp. couple and agreed to create cabinets and counter tops in late 2019.

Gausel never intended to deprive the couple of their money but experienced financial troubles when builders he worked with filed bankruptcy, public defender Joe Fulker said. Gausel said he was in business 30 years, and this was the only couple he had “left holding the bag.” He said he had intended to complete the job over time. Police said the couple attempted to contact him, but their calls were ignored or blocked.

Wall said she didn’t believe Gausel intended to harm anyone.

Gausel was sentenced to five years of probation, 40 hours of community service and ordered to make regular payments of $23,366 toward restitution.

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