MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- A Midland builder was arrested late last month after investigators said he took more than $300,000 from a woman who contracted him to build her dream home- but made little effort to start building for more than a year. Luis Miguel Esquivel, 38, has been charged with Theft of Service of more than $300,000.
The investigation into the case began in May when a woman came to the Midland Police Department to ask about her rights. According to court documents, the woman said in January of 2021 she paid Esquivel, the owner of Tex-Con Construction, $382,770 to build her dream home. She claimed Esquivel failed to obtain builder’s insurance and did not meet deadlines. She said the bank then pulled her loan because the home was not completed, and she was forced to repay the loan using all her savings- leaving her no money to purchase another home.
The woman said she tried contacting Esquivel for two months about the lack of progress and to request a refund, but her calls and messages were never returned. She also claimed Esquivel had not been to the construction site at all in the preceding two months. According to her original agreement with the builder, the home should have been completed in December of last year.
A detective assigned to the case went to the construction site and stated very little work had been done at all. The detective then spoke with Esquivel who reportedly said his client would need to go through an attorney and pursue her money in court- he stated it was a civil case and not a criminal one. The detective then explained to Esquivel that it was in fact a criminal case since he accepted a large amount of money and failed to complete the work.
Esquivel then debated the detective’s assessment and said he had completed more than a “minimal” amount of work. He also claimed to have already spent a large amount of money on materials for the home but could not give the detective an amount.
The contractor then said he didn’t understand how the victim could “go after” him for the money and insisted she needed to “go after” the company. However, according to Tex-Con Construction’s website, Esquivel is the president of the company. When the detective asked Esquivel if he owns the company, he replied he “sits on the board and has ownership rights” to the business. The detective stated it seemed Esquivel was “not wanting to take responsibility for his actions and is trying to separate himself from the company”.
Esquivel then showed the detective proof that the victim had paid him the money, in response, the detective stated that was a lot of money to wait an entire year with little return- the home’s foundation had not even been constructed. Esquivel then claimed he didn’t know the woman felt that way and said he had not had a conversation with her about cutting ties or getting her money back. Text messages between the two, however, indicated Esquivel did know.
The detective then worked with two other Midland based home builders to review the work at the construction site to get a better idea about how much money Esquivel had put into the home. One company valued the construction so far at about $25,000, another returned an estimate of between 25 and 30 thousand dollars.
On May 19, the detective spoke with Esquivel and advised him to meet with the victim and try to resolve the situation. The detective hoped that Esquivel would either return the money or would agree to build the home. However, two months later Esquivel had not reached out to the victim.
Esquivel was arrested on a warrant on July 29, he was later released on an unknown bond. We have reached out to Tex-Con Management, Inc. for comment, our calls have not yet been returned.