ESCANABA - Two civil lawsuits against a Bark River contractor and his wife for alleged property scams were settled out of court earlier this week.
Jason Bradley Ives, 33, and his wife, Jennifer L. Ives, were each named in lawsuits filed by Mike and Nancy Kossow. The two parties were scheduled to appear for a bench trial in Delta County Circuit Court Thursday and Friday but settled the matter Tuesday and Wednesday via court paperwork.
The Kossows accused the couple of scamming them of $30,000 they paid as a down payment to buy the Ives' residence in Bark River. The Kossows also accused Jason Ives as bilking them of $7,000 they paid him to build a garage on the same property.
During a plea agreement in circuit court in July, Jason Ives pleaded no contest to embezzlement in connection with the Kossow's $7,000 garage payment. He was sentenced in August to eight months in the county jail.
During this week's lawsuit settlement, Jennifer Ives was ordered Wednesday to pay the Kossows $15,000 to be paid at a rate of at least $200 a month for the next 24 months. These payments will be applied toward the $37,000 restitution the court ordered Jason Ives to pay in the above criminal case.
The civil lawsuit against Jason Ives was dismissed Tuesday because he was already ordered to pay the Kossows $37,000 restitution in the criminal case, according to court records.
In 2010, Mike and Nancy Kossow gave the Ives' $30,000 to go toward the current mortgage on his home to reduce their monthly payment once they purchased the property. The couple also gave Jason Ives $7,000 to build a garage that was never built. The Kossows never acquired the home and were never refunded their $37,000.
Jason Ives is scheduled to appear at a bench trial in district court on Sept. 25 regarding a civil suit he filed against James and Kristin Curtice for alleged damages to a home he was selling to them. District Court Judge Glenn Pearson will also consider a countersuit filed by the Curtices.
In addition to his current eight-month sentence, Ives is serving a concurrent six-month sentence for embezzling money from two other parties who made down payments on a home Ives had for sale, the same house the Curtices intended to buy.
Jason Ives has also been charged in Menominee County with two counts of being an unlicensed residential builder, two counts of larceny by conversion, and two counts of false pretenses relating to two renovation projects in Menominee County.
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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, firstname.lastname@example.org