Prolific Swindler Found Guilty

Analyst Ryan Kapaun working on a timeline of the Daniel Baker case

In October 2016 we told you about an Eden Prairie building contractor who had swindled homeowners out of more than $1-million. Daniel Baker was hired by the homeowners to work on remodeling projects in their homes. After receiving down payments from the homeowners, Baker did little to no work and the homeowners began receiving liens on their properties from subcontractors who had not been paid.

One Eden Prairie victim notified the EPPD, and after an extensive investigation detectives found there were 13 more victims, bringing the total to 14 in Hennepin, Dakota, Scott and Carver counties. EPPD investigators spent hundreds of hours reviewing bank transactions and creating spreadsheets to assist in determining when and how much fraud occurred.

In March a Hennepin County jury found Baker guilty on two counts of theft by swindle over $35,000 and one count of nonpayment for improvement. During the trial, victims described significant financial hardship caused by Baker’s crimes, including running up high credit card debt, and cashing in savings and retirement accounts.

Last month Baker was sentenced to five years of probation and one year in the county workhouse. In addition, Baker must perform 200 hours of community service and pay restitution of more than $711,000.