Scottsdale home builder accused of swindling $5M - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Scottsdale home builder accused of swindling $5M

Michael Porter is charged with seven counts of felony fraud and seven counts of felony theft, which could mean years behind bars. Michael Porter is charged with seven counts of felony fraud and seven counts of felony theft, which could mean years behind bars.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

Investigators spent two years building a case against Valley homebuilder Michael Porter. The criminal investigation is so complicated that investigators gathered 40,000 pages of evidence - dealing with bank accounts, multiple victims and millions of dollars.

The charges against Porter are serious: seven counts of felony fraud and seven counts of felony theft, which could mean years behind bars.

"This allegedly happened in May 2005 through June of ... it looks like August of 2008," said a Valley judge during Porter's initial appearance in court Wednesday.

CBS 5 Investigates began looking into Porter three years ago, as the complaints began to stack up.

"The subcontractors were calling us saying that they weren't getting paid, that we owed them a lot of money," said Howard Weber, Porter's former business partner at Woodbridge Custom Homes.

Weber told CBS 5 Investigates during a 2009 interview that they built high-end, lavish homes in North Scottsdale. And the company did well during the boom. But then money started disappearing.

"We found out that he was taking money and putting it into his own account," Weber said.

CBS 5 Investigates followed the money trail to Sin City, where sources say Porter dropped thousands at lavish hotels and casinos like: The Venetian, Caesars Palace, MGM and The Wynn - back in 2007 and 2008. That was around the same time contractors said Porter was telling them he had no money to pay them.    

"Mike wants to be rich and famous," said Mike Pile of Pinnacle Window and Doors. "I mean, he lives the lifestyles of the rich and famous."

They said Porter flaunted his money.

"Nice houses, nice cars, nice clothes, trips to Las Vegas, private planes to go to Vegas," Pile said.

Porter's attorney said there is no money.

"He does not have any liquid assets," she said during court Wednesday.

But Porter did post $50,000 bond after court.

Porter, a Canadian citizen, will be required to surrender his passport during his next court appearance Oct. 8.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

News Headlines

Sidebar: Arizona mug shots

SLIDESHOW:  Mug shots More>>

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • Texas lieutenant governor calls for 'hardening' of schools

    Texas lieutenant governor calls for 'hardening' of schools

    Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:05 PM EDT2018-05-20 16:05:41 GMT
    (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    Full Story >

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    Full Story >
  • Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Sunday, May 20 2018 11:41 AM EDT2018-05-20 15:41:33 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:05 PM EDT2018-05-20 16:05:27 GMT

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

    Full Story >

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

    Full Story >
  • Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

    Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:41 AM EDT2018-05-20 10:41:19 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:03 PM EDT2018-05-20 16:03:31 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis asperges holy water as he celebrates a Pentecost mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, May 20, 2018.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis asperges holy water as he celebrates a Pentecost mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, May 20, 2018.

    Pope Francis has announced that he will make 14 new cardinals next month, among them his chief aide for helping homeless people.

    Full Story >

    Pope Francis has announced that he will make 14 new cardinals next month, among them his chief aide for helping homeless people.

    Full Story >
Powered by Frankly