PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Largo man was arrested after deputies said stole more than $40,000 from a victim after he promised to build her a custom home.

According to an arrest affidavit, the victim contracted Roderick Karcher, 73, to build her a custom home in Indian Rocks Beach. In March 2021, the victim gave Karcher a down payment to begin construction in three personal checks totaling $40,362.75.

By August 2021, the construction never began and investigators said Karcher told the victim that he would not be able to perform the project due to the death of his son.

In September 2021, the victim sent a letter requesting that her deposit be returned in full, the affidavit said.

Karcher responded to the victim through his attorney and said that he was “merely the qualifier” on the job and had no idea what happened to the down payment.

Through the investigation, deputies said it was determined that Karcher was more than just the qualifier. He communicated with the victim, accepted checks and was listed as a signer on the business bank account. They said he also made more than $6,000 worth of charges on a debit card assigned to his name.

Deputies said Karcher was given an opportunity to speak about what happened but again, he said he was the qualifier and did not wish to speak any further about the matter.

Investigators said construction never began and the victim has nothing to show for the money she gave to Karcher.

Karcher was arrested on Wednesday and faces a charge of grand theft (greater than $20,000 but less than $100,000.)

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