A Chetek man convicted of stealing more than $65,000 from a downtown Barron property owner was ordered to start making restitution payments of at least $350 per month during a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, in Barron County Circuit Court.

A Barron County jury found Roger R. Zempel, 45, 936 Schofield St., Chetek, guilty of felony theft by contractor in January 2019. He was later sentenced to a two-year prison term and ordered to pay more than $22,000 restitution to his victim.

In a complaint filed in May 2018, Zempel was charged with taking more than $66,000 from the owner of a downtown Barron building without completing the remodeling project she had hired him to do.

He later fled the state and lived for a time with a relative in Arkansas, the complaint said.

At the Aug. 25 hearing, county prosecutors alleged Zempel had failed to make a good faith effort to repay the victim.

The court ordered the $350 monthly payment as a condition of Zempel’s probation.