A former Englewood contractor was arrested this week and charged with stealing $200,000 in deposits from a half-dozen homeowners while doing little-to-no work for them.
Kelsey Lyons, whose 38th birthday was Tuesday, was arrested and charged the day before with six counts of felony theft, including theft from an at-risk person, court records show.
A 13-month investigation by the Denver District Attorney’s Office, which began with a complaint from an alleged victim in March 2022, determined that Lyons hasn’t returned $200,024 in deposits that she and her company, KelsMac, received for home renovation projects in Denver, Littleton and Arvada, according to an April 28 affidavit.
The most serious theft allegations against Lyons involve a proposed home addition in Arvada. Lyons is accused of taking $97,900 from the homeowners — an 81-year-old military veteran and his 74-year-old wife — but doing little work on the home. She repaid $15,000 to the couple and spent some on labor and materials but still owes $63,990, the affidavit claims.
Lyons was aided at times by KelsMac’s positive reputation on BuildZoom, a website that connects homeowners with trusted contractors, according to investigators. The website still ranks KelsMac #1 on its “10 Best Englewood General Contractors” list. Several of Lyons’ alleged victims found her through BuildZoom, including the elderly couple.
Lyons is scheduled to appear before Judge Ericka Englert for a hearing June 20. An attorney for Lyons was not listed in online court records and contact information for her and KelsMac was not available this week. The company closed its doors in December 2021.
After it did, Lyons and KelsMac were sued three times in Denver and the south metro.
A mother and daughter who own 1090 S. Emerson St. in Denver hired Lyons and her company to remodel the property for $83,495, according to their January 2022 lawsuit. No work was done or refund issued for six months before KelsMac went out of business, according to the lawsuit, which was settled in November. That case is mentioned in the affidavit.
In March 2022, a man who owns 5681 E. Cornell Ave. in Denver accused KelsMac and Lyons of taking his $15,630 remodeling deposit but doing very little work before going out of business. That case was also mentioned in the affidavit and settled in November.
In July 2022, the lender Forward Financing asked a judge in Centennial to enforce a $19,673 arbitration award it had won against KelsMac and Lyons. The judge granted the request and bank accounts for Lyons and her company were garnished in October.