ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - A Sumter man is facing charges after taking up to $37,000 for construction work that never began in Orangeburg County.
Thousands of dollars were paid this individual for separate construction projects in the Eutawville area earlier this year,” Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. “But after several months, nothing has been done to even begin these projects.”
Brandon Wharton, 36, has been charged with breach of trust over $10,000 and breach of trust between $2,000 and $10,000.
According to officials, an Eutawille resident hired Wharton after he was recommended from several trusted confidants.
After an emailed contract was agreed upon, $7,000 was paid to Wharton.
After several days no work had been done on the resident’s property.
When they reached out to Wharton they were given excuses for months, including a tale Wharton gave in which his wife was ill with cancer and in a Charleston area hospital.
However, a mutual friend advised the resident the Wharton's wife does not have cancer. That detail was confirmed when the resident reached out to Wharton’s wife, who stated she did not have cancer and had heard of similar stories involving Wharton, according to the report.
In another case that began in February, a Eutawville couple contracted Wharton to rebuild a dock on their property with the agreed price of $50,000. The couple put down initially $25,000 for the job.
Wharton delayed the job at first by saying he was building a sea wall for another Eutawville resident, the one who paid $7,000 and received nothing.
He then explained his lack of work was because of an injury from
Months went by with no work being done, but Wharton asked for more money, which was paid.
The Eutawville resident and the couple reached out to OCSO investigators last month, who began putting together the timeline of the two cases.
During a hearing on Monday Wharton's bond was set at $20,000.
If anyone else has experienced similar instances with Wharton, they are asked to contact the OCSO at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.