The former owner of Stone Creek Homes, Inc. , David Ferguson, was back in Marshall Court Courts on Wednesday. Ferguson was sentenced in April, 2016 by Superior Court Judge Robert Bowen to a total of ten years of incarceration with four to serve and six years suspended. He was also subject to a period of probation after his release.
Ferguson was seeking an early release . Due to “good time” extended during his incarceration, his earliest projected release was set at March 9, 2018. He was represented by Attorney Michael Tuszynski.
It was noted during the hearing that Ferguson had maintained a clean conduct record while incarcerated and has a significant amount of restitution to pay to victims. Ferguson had already been placed by the Indiana Department of Corrections with the South Bend Work Release facility and is now employed.
Attorney Tuszynski indicated that Ferguson is experiencing some health issues that they feel can better be addressed outside of incarceration. He also argued that Ferguson should be provided an opportunity to find a higher paying job.
After taking the matter under advisement for three days, Superior Court Judge Robert Bowen ruled that Ferguson will be released to the Marshall County Community Correction Program on January 9, 2018 with the initial level of detention as home detention GPS monitoring.
He had been found guilty of 13 of 14 counts against him after a three-day trial in March, 2016. He had originally been charged with nine counts of theft (D felonies), one count of Receiving Stolen Property (C felony), and three counts of Corrupt Business Influence (C felonies). Additional charges stemmed from withholding funds for health insurance and failing to pay premiums.
Ferguson left the Plymouth area with no notice after instructing the Human Resource Director and the General Manager of the plant to lay off 41 employees. The next morning, the office personnel arrived at the facility and found Ferguson’s personal items, computers, etc. were gone. He had also vacated a rental home on Pretty Lake, disconnected his cell phone, and did not return email messages. His business partner closed their plant in Central City, Nebraska in the same manner within hours.
The where-abouts of the two partners was unknown for several months; however, WTCA was able to locate Ferguson after seeing pictures on the internet of him opening a business in Snyder, Texas in August, 2013.
During the trial in March, it was revealed that Ferguson entered into a “Build for Invention” program with local businessman , Jeff Jones. Jones gave Ferguson payments of $78,436.00, $74,385.00 and an additional $75,385.00 In return, Stone Creek was to use the payments to build housing units , commonly called man caves, that are used as housing in the oil and gas fields for workers. The majority of the 52 exhibits presented by the State included in the trial were emails and phone records between Ferguson and Jones outlining how the program would be structured. The units agreed upon were never built or even scheduled for production.
Jones testified at the January hearing asking that Ferguson be required to stay in the state of Indiana. Included in Judge Bowen’s ruling is the stipulation that Ferguson cannot leave the state without permission.
Court records also showed that Ferguson took a down payment of $233,000 from Todd Morse of Fargo, North Dakota for units. The units had never been put in the production schedule.Ferguson will still be required to make restitution to Morse.
Carol Anders Correspondent