A former Perrysburg general contractor accused of stealing more than $1 million from clients has been found dead in Florida.
Ralph Slaske’s body was found July 22 in his Manatee County home, according to a press release from the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office.
Slaske, 47, had been in Wood County Common Pleas Court on June 4 and was scheduled to appear for a pretrial conference Aug. 20.
He had been released in April on a $50,000 bond; however, a warrant for his arrest was issued July 20 after he violated the terms on the electronic monitoring program.
That warrant was still active at the time of his death, according to court records.
Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said as in all criminal cases where the defendant dies, all charges will be dismissed.
Slaske was indicted on 16 counts of money laundering, all third-degree felonies; eight counts of tampering with records, all first-degree misdemeanors; and aggravated theft of $1.5 million or more, a first-degree felony.
The March indictment came one year after an extensive investigation into his business, Slaske Builders, by the Perrysburg Police Department and Wood County Prosecutor’s Office, said Dobson in the press release.
That first-degree felony could have resulted in a prison sentence of three to 11 years, said Wood County Common Pleas Judge Joel Kuhlman at the time of arraignment.
Slaske was accused of depriving multiple victims of property or services valued in excess of $1.5 million from Sept. 1, 2016, to March 31, 2018.
The money laundering charges carried a prison sentence of up to 60 months each, while the tampering charges could have result in a 180-day jail sentence each.
The money laundering charges were divided among two categories.
For eight of the charges, Slaske was accused of conducting transactions knowing the property involved was the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, with the intent to conceal or disguise the nature or location of the property to avoid reporting requirements.
For the remaining eight, he was accused of conducting a transaction that involved the proceeds of corrupt activity that was a value greater than $10,000
The tampering with records charges related to six separate victims where Slaske allegedly committed fraud by destroying or altering loan documents.
These additional alleged 24 offenses occurred from Nov. 6, 2017, to Jan. 31, 2018.
Slaske was arraigned in April on these 25 charges and placed on a GPS monitor after his listed residence was questioned.
Slaske had given a home address in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, but a state investigator reported there was no sign that the residence was being lived in.
Defense attorney Stevin Groth said in April that his client had gone through bankruptcy and a divorce and had moved often in an effort to piece his life back together.
His death remains under investigation.
Slaske Builders closed in 2018.