In February the general manager of a large pool firm pled no contest to three counts of diversion of construction funds.
Sacramento, Calif.-based juggernaut Aquarius Pools made headlines when the company left approximately 60 pools unfinished after its abrupt closure in 2006.
In addition, several subcontractors went without payment, and some claimed they were owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Company owners Richard Carnation and Kevin Towle accused General Manager Greg Wolfe and his wife, Teresa, of embezzling the firm dry, thus forcing it out of business. They claimed that the Wolfes used company money to fund ventures such as home improvements, vacations and season tickets for a local sports team.
It was an unfortunate decline for Aquarius, which was established in 1969 and gained a solid reputation under founder Gene Wells. The company had been a Pool & Spa News Top Builder, claiming nearly $10.5 million in construction revenue in 2005, its last year on the list.
After years of delayed hearings, Greg and Teresa Wolfe pled no contest, which subjects them to the same penalties as those who admit guilt. Greg Wolfe could face up to four years and four months in prison. He is currently free on bail and scheduled for sentencing on June 15. Last month, Teresa Wolfe was sentenced to a year of work furlough.