A guilty plea entered in a federal fraud case by St. Louis area contractor Andrew Kirchhoefer serves as a warning to those who act similarly, Better Business Bureau (BBB) says.Kirchhoefer on March 8 pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to wire fraud and failure to file a federal corporate income tax return. He is scheduled to be sentenced in June to five years’ probation, 40 hours of community service and was ordered to pay restitution of $86,649.67 to consumers. BBB alerted consumers in November 2015 to numerous and serious complaints received about Kirchhoefer and his business, Gateway Construction Solutions. Consumers in Illinois and Missouri told BBB they were owed thousands by Kirchhoefer after he took money for contracting jobs that were never started or completed.“If you take people’s money and don’t perform services for them, you eventually will pay,” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB St. Louis president and CEO. “Hopefully, this situation will make others think twice before doing the same thing to their consumers.”In the fall of 2015, BBB received complaints about Gateway Construction Solutions throughout the St. Louis region, including St. Louis, High Ridge, Olivette, West County, Eureka and Wentzville in Missouri, and Collinsville, Edwardsville, Lebanon and O’Fallon in Illinois. At the time of the BBB alert, the business listed addresses in St. Louis County and Belleville.“He’s taking people’s money left and right,” an Illinois woman told BBB at the time after she said she lost about $18,000 when Kirchhoefer reneged on an agreement to renovate homes she owns in Lebanon and O’Fallon. “Every time I think about him, I get sick.”According to court documents, he worked under the business names of Gateway Construction Solutions and Liberty International Operations Group, Inc., and entered into contracts to do remodeling construction jobs in Missouri and Illinois. The prosecution wrote “little or no work was done on many of the projects.”In addition to repaying customers, Kirchhoefer will be ordered to pay $35,342 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS will receive its money after consumers have been paid. Prosecutors also will ask the judge to place Kirchhoefer under house arrest as a condition of probation. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 15.According to federal bankruptcy court records, Kirchhoefer filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in February 2016. The case was closed in March 2017.BBB offers the following tips on hiring home repair contractors here. About BBBBBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.