Saratoga County

Builder faces further charges of theft, fraud

A Mechanicville builder originally arrested in February faces additional charges this week that he t
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A Mechanicville builder originally arrested in February faces additional charges this week that he took money from clients and didn’t build their homes.

James McLagan, 55, of 11 Lake Ridge Drive, was arraigned Wednesday morning in City Court on four more felony grand larceny charges and a misdemeanor count of scheming to defraud. The charges stem from alleged thefts in the city and the town of Saratoga.

Authorities said in court documents that he took money from people in 2006 while promising to build homes for them and didn’t finish the jobs.

McLagan is accused of collecting payments of $8,050 and $3,840 from Joe Vanburen of Highland & Co. Associates for property in the town and the city and deposits of $54,282 and $5,914 from Thomas E. Brooks of Harbrook Associates in 2006.

The scheming charge addresses an alleged pattern of behavior, according to court documents that cite him taking money from a customer in the city and another in Stillwater and only building part of the foundation in each case.

McLagan is accused of collecting a $57,600 deposit from Richard Jones and Deborah Otto-Jones to build a home in the city, police said. He also allegedly took $158,000 from Harold J. Bond and Tina Bond of Stillwater.

“At the time he extended his promises and received the sums of money from the victims, the defendant knew he would not fulfill his promises to them,” Christopher Belling, Saratoga County special district attorney, said in court papers.

McLagan originally faced felony grand larceny charges in the city and in Stillwater in connection with those two properties.

On Wednesday, Joseph Raccuia posted $10,000 cash bail to free McLagan, according to court documents.

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