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Contractor faces theft charges after Denver7 investigation, viewers step up to help victim

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Posted at 10:30 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 00:43:26-04

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A Denver area contractor is facing charges, including felony theft, misdemeanor theft and charges related to installing plumbing without the proper license.

A senior investigator for the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office began investigating Theodore Welker, who goes by TJ, after Contact Denver7 aired a story exposing his business practices and broken promises.

The same district attorney’s office previously investigated Welker, the owner of Braveheart Construction, in July 2015. The investigation resulted in Welker being charged with felony theft, but he ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge while agreeing to pay $20,000 in restitution.

According to court documents, he violated his probation multiple times, failed to turn himself in and served time in jail.

In October 2020, the district attorney because aware of three new victims when Denver7 contacted the office. The victim names in the arrest affidavit have been redacted, but Contact Denver7’s Liz Gelardi spoke with three people who accused Welker of taking hefty down payments only to never finish the work.

One of those victims is Van Ngo, who confirms she spoke with investigators after the Denver7 story aired. She hired Welker during the summer of 2019 and paid him $5,000 out of a $13,000 contract to finish her basement. She said he installed framing for the drywall but then stopped showing up. Around that same time, she learned he had not pulled any of the required permits with the City and County of Broomfield.

“He said, 'I’m not going to do any more work for you unless you give me more money,'” Ngo said during a previous interview with Denver7.

After that story aired, another contractor reached out to Denver7 and offered to help Ngo finish her basement. Gerald Nunez with Colorado Builders Corp. offered to donate some of his time and materials for the project.

Over the next few months, Nunez collected an entire storage unit worth of building materials. Denver7 Gives also started a fundraising in Ngo’s name and soon raised more than $2,000. A check was presented to Ngo and the money will be used to help Nunez offset his expenses.

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“I’m so grateful, and thank you for all the viewers that have helped me so far, and I cannot express enough words for that,” Ngo said.

Unlike the last contractor, Nunez is in the process of pulling permits and hopes to start the project soon.

Welker is set to appear in court on July 19.