Construction company owner arrested for writing hot checks faces new charges

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 10:09 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 8:17 PM CDT
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GEPP, Ark. (KAIT) – Fulton County sheriff’s deputies arrested a construction company owner Wednesday after they said he wrote hot checks for building materials. Now, he’s facing new charges for incomplete jobs with clients.

According to a probable cause affidavit, All Steel in Gepp received a check on Aug. 26 from 49-year-old Gerald Lee Helcher-Stellar, owner of Stellar Construction, for construction materials.

When All Steel attempted to cash the $11,712.98 check, it was returned as insufficient funds.

Two days later, the company tried again to cash the check. Again, it was rejected.

“As of Sept. 12, Gerald has not made good on the check, and the balance is still outstanding,” said sheriff’s investigator Lt. William Fawcett in the affidavit. “According to an ACIC criminal history, Gerald has four or more prior felony convictions with a prior conviction showing to be for passing a bad check which was a felony offense.”

On Monday, Circuit Court Judge Tim Weaver found probable cause existed to charge Helcher-Stellar with writing hot checks greater than $5,000 but less than $25,000. The judge set his bond at $20,000 cash-only.

On Thursday, Sept. 15, Helcher-Stellar was also charged with two counts of theft by deception of property value of $5,000 or less but more than $1,000 on two separate occasions.

According to court documents, one instance happened when severe weather damaged roofs and buildings in Salem, and Helcher-Stellar was hired to fix the damage at a property.

The owner was given $13,000 by his insurance company and then gave the money to Helcher-Stellar for the repairs, but it was left unfinished.

In another instance, the Veteran’s Affairs had Helcher-Stellar begin work on a bathroom remodel to make it handicap-accessible.

The documents said five to six months after taking the job, Helcher-Stellar said he need $2,000 for materials, then three months later, he asked for another $2,600. In total, he had asked for $4,600, and the job was incomplete.

For both of these incidents, Helcher-Stellar was given another $20,000 cash-only bond.

Sheriff Joe Boshears said if you believe you are a victim of Stellar-Helcher or his company, contact the sheriff’s office.