KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – A Kansas City family says a builder blew the budget and left them with an uninhabitable home.
The Beacon Hill house remains frozen halfway through construction. The family have filed 10 charges against stacked builder Maximillian Howell
He claims Howell attempted to change the price of the house from $ 375,000, claiming he would need an additional $ 184,000 to complete the project.
“I broke down and cried,” said Rebecca Evans.
Maximillian Howell has in turn filed a mechanic’s lien against the couple, meaning they can’t go ahead with the project until a judge fixes the issue in court.
Minimalism doesn’t mean that.
The couple’s house has defined walls and rooms. But many spaces lack flooring. There is no plumbing or appliances in the kitchen. There isn’t even a counter on the kitchen island.
The Evans claims Maximillian Howell pulled the toilet as the project collapsed even though the couple held the construction loan. They also claim that Howell changed the locks on the house at one point, preventing them from entering. There are also allegations regarding electricity.
“He had a wire coming from my panel to the house next door,” said Joe Evans.
Everyone agrees that the project is off budget and that during the construction freeze the house is deteriorating.
The Evans lawsuit claims Howell made “false promises, misrepresentations and engaged in fraudulent conduct which prematurely exhausted the construction loan.”
He goes on to accuse the builder of underbidding on the project to strike a deal, then using “project completion as leverage to extort payments.”
He also states that Howell basically operates under different names to “do wrong and perpetuate fraud”.
Who is Maximillian Howell?
KCTV5 contacted Maximillian Howell to get his side of the story.
He agreed to an interview with KCTV5 but declined to answer questions about the case due to legal advice. Howell told KCTV5 that things would change dramatically in 30 days and that he would give KCTV5 their “best interview ever” at that time.
We then sent Howell a detailed list of questions to discuss with his lawyer. We never got a response.
Our investigation continued while we checked the court records. We also reached out to contractors and families claiming Maximillian Howell owed them money.
We found out that Howell owns 10 businesses between Missouri and Kansas. Most have been prosecuted. We found over 60 lawsuits and liens filed in courts in Missouri and Kansas.
These include the following companies: MSS Construction et Toiture; Entrepreneurs Businesses; EE DevCo; Madison Housing Partners; Madison Housing LLC; & Woodland Views KC Housing Partners LLC.
Some families and contractors have told us they are weighing their legal options, pointing out that Howell faces so many liens and lawsuits spending more money on lawyers might not be the answer.
Several families report to KCTV5 that they have contacted the FBI to report suspected crimes. At least one has filed a complaint with the Missouri attorney general’s office.
Families say it’s easy to write Howell a check, but almost impossible to find when business fails.
It is not known if Howell currently maintains commercial office space. Our investigation revealed registered business addresses that date back to UPS stores and residential properties that no longer appear to be linked to Maximillian Howell.
If you have a complaint to share regarding Maximillian Howell or any of his companies, email us at [email protected]
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