Belongings seized from embattled contractor's home

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by JESSE JONES / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

KING5.com

Posted on June 3, 2011 at 11:42 AM

COVINGTON, Wash. - A contractor accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his customers had his home cleaned out Thursday, thanks to a court order obtained by a former customer.

A lot of people have been chasing John Mulinski for years looking for their money, including Mary and Gary Hunter of Federal Way. Mulinski hadn't paid off a nearly half-million dollar court judgment to the Hunters, so they literally took the case to Mulinksi's doorstep.

It came as a total surprise to Mulinski's wife when King County sheriff's deputies, along with moving vans, rolled into the couple's driveway.

"Today we're here to bring a little bit of justice to Mr. Mulinksi," said Alex Thomason, the Hunters' attorney.

Thomason said Mary is pushing for what's right in this situation.

"She is tenacious. She just wouldn't let it go and she felt that she wanted to have justice," said Thomason.

The Hunters' lawsuit was filed against Mulinski for failing to complete work, performing defective work and double charging for work performed.

Mulinski never showed up in court to defend himself and was hit with a $457,000 judgement.

Initially, that meant everything in Mulinski's house, except basic living items that were left behind, would be sold at auction within 30 days. But, on Thursday afternoon, Mulinksi filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Now the fight over the items will end up in a courtroom. The Hunters' attorney will argue that the items placed in the truck up until the bankruptcy was filed will go into storage awaiting the trustee's decision. Mulinski's attorney, Raymond Gessel, says he will ask to have the items returned to his client immediately

Mulinski also faces 17 felony theft charges in King County, 13 counts of construction malfeasance in California and eight counts of wire fraud in federal court in Montana. All of it is connected to his construction businesses.

Mulinski has pleaded not guilty to all of the criminal charges.

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