Local pool contractor arrested, charged with fraud

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published August 22, 2023

 Brandon Lewis Heitmann

Brandon Lewis Heitmann


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A local pool contractor was arrested and charged with fraud earlier this month after allegedly not following through with his contract with a local woman who hired him to build a pool in her backyard.

In June, a Shelby Township resident filed a police report that states that in August of 2022, she hired a contractor to dig and install an inground pool at her home. She agreed to pay the contractor a $60,000 deposit for the job, with a completion date of June 2023.

Since then, the contractor was given the $60,000 deposit last year, but the contractor never started the job, according to police. The contractor stated that he was having financial problems and could not complete the job or refund the money to the homeowners, according to police.

The Shelby Township Police Department detective bureau investigated the case and presented its findings to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. The contractor, whom police identified as Brandon Lewis Heitmann, 30, of Washington Township, is the owner of Exigent Design.

On July 28, Heitmann was arraigned on charges of false pretenses of $50,000 or more but less than $100,000 and fraudulent use of a building contract fund. His bond was set at $30,000 cash or surety and it was posted.

Sergeant Mark Benedettini form the Shelby Township Police Department said the department asks that anyone who may have had this happen to them reach out to police to file a complaint.

“Our Detective in charge of the case is currently investigating additional complaints about this same individual. I expect additional charges to be filed soon. Anyone who feels they may have been scammed by this individual/company, is urged to file a police report with their local police department,” he said.

Last week, on Aug. 15, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office filed a charge of false pretenses of $50,000 or more but less than $100,000 against Heitmann in a separate case. In both cases against him, Heitmann pleaded not guilty at his arraignments.

Heitmann has a preliminary exam scheduled for Oct. 2 in the first case and a probable cause hearing scheduled for Sept. 7 in the other. His attorney, Glenn Phillip Franklin, provided a statement on his client’s behalf.

“On August 7, 2023, Exigent Landscaping, filed for Chapter 11, bankruptcy protection. Chapter 11, bankruptcy allows a business to continue operating while it restructures its debt. This bankruptcy filing has allowed Exigent Landscaping to continue operations and work on its customer’s pools and projects.

“Regarding the two (2) criminal matters currently pending in the 41-A Judicial District Court, Shelby Division, against Brandon Heitmann (the principal of Exigent Landscaping), both of these matters are related to former clients of Exigent Landscaping that unilaterally canceled projects and breached their respective contracts with Exigent Landscaping, after work on the project had begun. We are confident that Brandon Heitmann will be (fully) exonerated of any wrongdoing in these matters.

Finally, I can confirm for you that Brandon Heitmann is in fact a licensed builder; I personally have a copy of his Builder’s License, that is current and in good standing,” the statement reads.