Police search for contractor accused of skipping out on jobs

Vinh Bao Dang charged with misapplication of fiduciary property

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - A Houston general contractor with an appetite for the finer things is on the run from the law, police said.

"Your average police report is six pages. This one is 19," said Isaac Duplechain, a Houston Police Department investigative first responder.

Vinh Bao Dang, 31, is accused of misapplication of fiduciary property, a felony similar to theft, following his failure to complete a large construction project, detectives said.

"I'm very upset and angry with him because of what he left us with," David Maxwell said.

Maxwell works for General Truck Body, a Houston firm that hired Dang and his company, Strive Concepts, Ltd., to build a 32,000- square-foot manufacturing facility.

Dang did not finish the job, failed to pay subcontractors, and absconded with several hundred thousand dollars, police said.

"He has done quite a bit of damage across the Houston area. He has been sued in several counties," Duplechain said.

The investigator said that Dang had victimized several homeowners and businesses over the last two to three years. Several people are suing the contractor and his company. 

Each of the civil lawsuits alleges basically the same thing -- that Dang didn't complete work that he said he would and that he took money for jobs he didn't do.

Local 2 investigates also discovered that Dang has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for assault, theft, auto theft and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Dang's Facebook page states he is a graduate of Clements High School in Sugar Land and the University of Houston. The same page also lists information about Dang's previous probation officer.

Police told Local 2 Investigates that until recently Dang was living at a posh apartment complex on Allen Parkway under someone else's identity and driving a Cadillac Escalade.

"He has been to Vegas. He went to Cuba. He went to the Super Bowl," Duplechain said.

Police have been unsuccessful in tracking down the fugitive.

"He told me he was going to meet with me, that he just needed a little more time. That same day, he left with only a backpack," Duplechain said.

Police said they believe Dang may have contacts in Dallas and may be living and working in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Anyone with information regarding Dang's whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS.

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