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Fence contractor facing theft charges in multiple cases

Hagadone News Network | January 10, 2024 1:00 AM

Prosecutors have brought two felony cases against a contractor accused of bilking county residents out of thousands of dollars for unfinished home improvement projects.

Steven Austin Quimby, 26, of Kalispell faces counts of theft in two cases pending in Flathead County District Court for work he allegedly was paid to undertake in 2023.  

Charged in the first case in August, he pleaded not guilty before Judge Amy Eddy at his Oct. 5 arraignment. Prosecutors brought the second felony theft case against him in November. An arraignment in that case remains unscheduled.  

Flathead County Sheriff’s Office deputies began investigating Quimby over the summer after he defrauded two customers, according to court documents.  

In April, he allegedly signed on to build a three-rail cedar fence for a property owner, accepting a check for $7,656 for materials with an invoice for labor to follow. Quimby cashed the check the same day, but never returned to perform the work, court documents said.  

In May, he allegedly made a verbal agreement with another landowner to erect a fence. The customer gave Quimby a check for $1,100, which he cashed several days later, and the two agreed work would begin May 22, according to court documents.  

When Quimby failed to show up as expected, the customer confronted him, court documents said. Over the phone, she told him she no longer wanted his services and asked for her money back. In early July, still out the money for the unfinished fence, she turned to the Sheriff’s Office, court documents said.  

The second theft case, filed Nov. 20, accuses Quimby of cashing a $4,162 check for a fence construction job in Whitefish in May but never returning to complete the work. Investigating the case, Whitefish Police officers questioned Quimby on June 15 about the money, according to court documents.  

Quimby allegedly told authorities he cashed the check and bought supplies, but was short on money. He offered to pay the customer back in full, according to court documents.  

Prosecutors alleged that Quimby neither tried to finish the job nor return the cash.  

In October 2023, Quimby pleaded guilty in Lincoln County District Court to felony theft and check forgery. In that case, he was accused of taking more than $34,0000 from seven Lincoln County residents to either build or mend fences, but never completing the work. 

He was sentenced in December to a pair of five-year prison terms, with each suspended.