Watonga Contractor Accused Of Embezzling Nearly $70,000 From Customers
WATONGA, Oklahoma - A Watonga contractor is accused of embezzling nearly $70,000 from multiple homeowners in Blaine County.
Joshua Doyel, 31, is being charged with numerous counts of embezzlement and home repair fraud. Three victims have filed charges, which combined, add up to be over $69,000.
Doyel is out of jail on bond.
It's taken quite a bit to get Diane Johnson's home back to normal. In her search for a local contractor, she'd met Doyel.
“I did ask around a few people, they said yeah, he done some very good work for people around here,” said Johnson.
Johnson said Doyel left her home a mess. After paying $6,600 to secure an electrician, Johnson said Doyel asked for another $32,000 during a dinner meeting to finish the job -- which she paid.
“He said well, let’s all just hold hands and bow our heads, and gave a big long prayer about how he hopes this job comes in on time and in completion, no problems in between,” said Johnson. “That he'd have me in by the end of September 2018, and I never saw him again.”
Johnson has since been forced to mortgage her childhood home and had to come out of retirement.
Cory Ferguson said he's out nearly $26,000 after paying Doyel up front for a barn project.
“I always knew you never pay for a job until a job is finished,” said Ferguson. “I wouldn't have paid for this job, but once I was laid off and had no income, I just thought I would go ahead and get it paid for, because he had done two other jobs and he was a friend.”
Both victims said they would like the case to be taken more serious.
“I would like the DA to hold his feet to the flames, hold him accountable,” said Ferguson. “Either get me reimbursed or put him in prison but quit letting him violate his bond repeatedly and just slapping him on the hand and doing nothing.”
The district attorney covering Blaine County has filed motions twice to have Doyel put in jail, both have been denied by a judge.
Doyel was arrested in Kansas while out of jail on bond for driving drunk and assaulting a police officer.
Doyel isn't denying the allegations.
In the following statement sent to News 9, Doyel apologizes to victims and says he was dealing with mental health issues.
“I would like to begin by apologizing to each and everyone who is involved in this situation! Words cannot express how undeniably sorry I am, and I hope some day they will be able to forgive me.
I started my company in 2009, at the age of 21 years old. In those 10 years prior to these charges, I had little to no complaints with my work or how I conducted myself in business. Unfortunately, during this time in my life, I have had several life changing events that caused a drastic effect on my physical and mental health. I have been working through the trauma of recovering from a traumatic brain injury from a car wreck, in 2012, in which I lost my father, partner in business, and best friend. I was unaware that this traumatic event could cause such a drastic, negative effect on my mental health. Since the wreck, I have been dealing with the negative effects of PTSD, Bi-polar disorder and depression. As I was not diagnosed until 2018 while in alcohol treatment, I was unfortunately, dealing with these disorders without even knowing what I was dealing with or being properly treated or medicated. A few months prior to my break down, I had issues with a disgruntled employee, the declining health and eventual death of a very close grandfather, and a declining marriage that eventually turned into a terrible divorce and loss of me being able to see my children.
I was dealing with this trauma by self-medicating with the consumption of alcohol. My battle to feel normal again turned into a war with alcoholism, which was another battle I was ignorant in knowing how to win. The choice made by my family and friends to intervene and place me on a plane to Arizona to seek treatment, was at that time, a life or death situation. I understood at the time when I left the state for treatment, I would be leaving four contracts incomplete and that it might lead to the situation that we are dealing with now, although I had hoped and prayed that they would be understanding of my plight and let me complete the jobs upon completion of treatment. Going to treatment was decided by my family and I to be the best decision, in fear that I may hurt or kill myself or others, due to my inability to not drink. I was THAT BAD. My mother felt like it was either send me to treatment or she would be burying me the next week. I would like to apologize to the people of the communities I serve, for me being so inconsiderate for your safety. I thank God every day that no one was maimed or killed due to my drinking.
I am happy to announce I have completed treatment and I am now being properly treated for my mental health disorders. By the grace of God, I’m ecstatic to announce that i am over six months sober and I finally feel like I am human again and getting my life back together. I have become very active in my church again and attend Celebrate Recovery there. I have been led to help others who struggle with addiction, and with my comeback story, I hope and pray I can give inspiration to someone!
I completely understand that the situation these clients and I are in, is 100% due to my actions and my decisions in the past. The very reason behind why I draw up contracts, is for accountability for both the client and myself. Unfortunately, due to my mental state at the time, I did not hold up my side of the contract, and now I must be held accountable for my actions. I am in no way denying the charges that have been brought against me, as the contracts were indeed, not completed. I would like to note, however, that the word embezzlement does not embody my intent or actions. I fully had every intention of completing their contracts and still would like to now that I am mentally able to do so. I do understand that completing the job, at this point, would probably not be satisfactory to them. I want to resolve this situation 100%, and I am very dedicated to doing so as soon as possible. I am hoping a business loan I have applied for, will allow me to pay the victims back the full restitution soon.
Again, I would like to apologize to the victims and their families, and I pray that they can find it in their hearts to understand that not completing their contracts before my life fell apart, was not done maliciously or intentionally. I just was not, in fact, mentally or physically able to do so until I was able to get some help and be properly medicated to help me with my mental status. Anyone who truly knows me and my family, knows that this is not who I am, and I only ask that I am allowed to introduce them back to the old me, the man that they probably have not seen since the wreck. I’m finally, by the grace of God, back you the old Josh and ready to face my life again with steadfast faith in God to see me through it.”