TROUDSALE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Castilian Springs man has been indicted for theft by special agents of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after he allegedly stole money from a couple looking to have a home built.

According to the TBI, agents began investigating Stephen Christopher Cope, 44, of Castilian Springs in September 2022 following an allegation of theft from a Hartsville couple. During the course of the investigation, agents found that in August 2021, Cope agreed to build a home for the couple. Cope reportedly sent the couple photos of buildings under construction under the guise that it was their home being constructed, when in reality their home was never built.

The investigation revealed the couple paid Cope $233,000, some of which he spent toward the home. When the couple requested the rest of their money back, Cope refused to pay them.

A Trousdale County Grand Jury returned an indictment Oct. 16 charging Cope with theft under the Home Improvement Act. He was arrested over the weekend and booked into the Trousdale County Jail with a $3,500 bond.