Detroit demolition contractor found not guilty of fraud

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 19:02:22-04

A Detroit demolition contractor charged with fraud has been found not guilty by an Oakland County Circuit Court jury.

Barry Ellentuck with ADR Consulting was charged with attempted fraud after a subcontractor claimed Ellentuck pressured him to overbill the Detroit Land Bank Authority $6,300. 

During a week long trial, Ellentuck’s attorney played a secret recording Ellentuck made of the meeting which disputed Tim McCarthy’s claims. An investigator for the state admitted he relied on McCarthy’s story

Ellentuck’s attorney Joe Lavigne told 7 Action News McCarthy wasn’t the only person he felt wasn’t truthful during the court proceedings. Lavigne also took issue Carrie Lewand Monroe’s testimony.  She is the Executive Director for the Detroit Land Bank Authority. 

Lavigne says Lewand Monroe gave conflicting testimony during two court hearings regarding the bill at the heart of the case. 

“I don’t know if she was lying in February or last week, she definitely wasn’t telling the truth one or possibly both times,” Lavigne said.

Prior to being charged, Ellentuck had filed a suit for non payment. The former building authority director also exposed questionable contractors which have sparked a federal investigation into Detroit’s demolition program.

The Detroit Land Bank Authority and the Attorney General’s office both declined to comment.