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Lakeland Contractor Arrested For Felony Misappropriation Of $1.4M

Credit: PCSO/CW44 News At 10

LAKELAND (PCSO/CW44 News At 10) - On June 24, 2020, PCSO detectives obtained an arrest warrant for 39-year-old Michael Folsom of Lakeland, and took him into custody without incident at his home, for 3 counts misappropriation of construction funds (F1) and one count making a false statement (F3). Michael Folsom is the owner and president of Folsom Construction Management (FCM).

According to the affidavit, The Ruthvens contacted PCSO in 2019 in reference to a general contractor - FCM - not paying subcontractors on a major project, the construction of two warehouses located at 4000 and 4080 Combee Road in Lakeland.

FCM was hired as the primary general contractor for the build. Due to the sheer size of the build, several other subcontractors were hired.

The Ruthvens' Vice-President met with Folsom to discuss why the subcontractors were not being paid. Folsom stated he maintained too much overhead and owed subcontractors approximately $1.4 Million.

An audit revealed a total loss of $1,408,451 sustained by the subcontractors. The Ruthvens - although the loss was directly as a result of FCM - made partial payments to several subcontractors totaling $336,093 in an effort to prevent them from going out of business due to FCM malfeasance. The following monies are still owed to subcontractors after partial payments by the Ruthvens:

• Full Tilt Construction, Sanford - $362,490
• Eagle Fire Protection, Winter Garden - $120,095
• Harrison Construction - $94,935
• Ramcon Roofing, Tampa - $33,136
• Shade Systems, Fayetteville (GA) - $39,859
• The Awning Factory, Orlando - $46,589
• Miner, Orlando - $125,071
• Performance Electric, Lakeland - $83,489
• Midstate Caulking, Kissimmee - $23,896
• Aubrey Thompson Plumbing, Lakeland - $21,880
• Commercial Doorway, Lakeland - $5,883
• Angela Mays, Lakeland - $2,900

During the audit, records show Folsom's excessive personal spending during the same time frame:

• Travel and lodging - $140,153
• Meals and entertainment - $50,643
• Outdoor adventures - $1.050
• Household items - $9,046
• Events - $26,273
• Country clubs - $17,164
• Sporting goods - $28,117
• Vehicles - $326,974
• Loan payments - $1,519,888
• Other non-business expenditures - $705,304

Specific examples of purchases made by Folsom:

• Two properties in Alaska, with the intent to build a house, a hunt camp, and a storage unit
• Nine vehicles, several ATVs and UTVs, and a boat
• Upgrades to the vehicles
• Upgrades to his Lakeland home and property
• Between December 2018 and July 2019, Folsom and his wife were paid $179,967 in payroll and wire transfers
• Excessive credit card bills for food, travel, and entertainment

Folsom is being held on no bond in the Polk County Jail. His criminal history includes a 2003 arrest by Orange County SO for disorderly intoxication; a 2001 arrest by Orange County SO for probation violation; a 2001 arrest by Tallahassee PD for violation of open container law and possession of alcohol by person under 21; a 1999 arrest by Tallahassee PD for grand theft of a construction site, grand theft of a dwelling, destruction of evidence, resisting arrest, and possession of alcohol by a person under 21; and a 1999 arrest by Ocoee PD for DUI.

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