Atlantic couple going to trial for alleged home improvement fraud

Jun. 7—LINESVILLE — A western Crawford County couple will go on trial for home improvement fraud for allegedly bilking a man out of more than $100,000 more than 18 months ago.

In January, the Conneaut Lake Regional Police Department charged Chad Eckenrode, 42, and Kristi L. McBride, 39, both of 3438 Maple Lane, Atlantic, with false statements for home improvement services, receiving advance payment for services and failing to perform work, theft by deception and deceptive business practices.

On Tuesday, Eckenrode and McBride waived their rights to preliminary hearings before Magisterial District Judge Adam Stallard of Linesville.

By waiving their rights to a hearing, each was automatically ordered to be held for trial in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas on all charges. They are scheduled to go on trial during the September term of the county criminal court.

Police allege Eckenrode and McBride, who are married to each other, defrauded a man out of $118,135 in the remodeling of a Sadsbury Township home that he owned.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, the homeowner signed a contract with A+ Handyman Service in September 2021 to remodel the home on Hickory Drive. However, Eckenrode and McBride failed to fulfill the contract as required, according to the criminal complaint.

The arrest affidavit states A+ Handyman Service is owned by McBride while Eckenrode is a construction supervisor.

The homeowner made payments between December 2021 and August 2022 that totaled $118,135 for demolition, remodeling and an addition at home, according to the affidavit.

McBride remains free on $120,000 unsecured bond.

Eckenrode’s bond is also $120,000 unsecured, but he is lodged at the State Correctional Institution Albion in Erie County.

Eckenrode was booked into the state prison Feb. 3 for a state parole violation on previous home improvement fraud-related charges from Crawford County, according to online records.