MCDOWELL COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – McDowell County Sheriff’s Office officials said a husband and wife are facing embezzlement charges after they reportedly swindled people in six different counties of out millions of dollars.
According to a sheriff’s office news release, Del Jon Bristol, Jr., 50, and Serena Stamm Bristol, 46, both of Marion, are the owners of World Outdoor Log Homes and operated the business from their home in Marion.
Sheriff’s Office officials said over the past several months they’ve received reports from victims in McDowell, Rutherford, Buncombe, Polk, Madison and Henderson counties who had all contacted the Bristols to build them homes.
The couple reportedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time from the victims — either from them personally or from their construction loans — for down payments, purchasing of materials and paying subcontractors. The money was never used and is still unaccounted for, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to the release, there are at least 20 victims across six counties who were scammed for over $2 million.
The Bristols reportedly left town and investigators tracked them down at a condo on Lake Norman on Jan. 10, where they were arrested.
They were each charged with one count of embezzlement and five counts of exploiting the elderly.
Additonal charges are pending.
The Bristols were taken to the McDowell County jail, where they were being held on $700,000 bonds.