FOX 2 (WJBK) - Five years. That's how long a group of southeast Michigan residents have been waiting for a little justice.
Victims finally get their day in court and now the verdict is in. Rob Wolchek first told you about this con man contractor back in 2019. A guy who told his customers he'd build them a garage, but he just took their money and left behind a mess.
It was time for Temo Sessions to face some justice. He's on trial for duping customers of his garage-building business out of their money. As well as for the victims of this money-grubbing, greedy garage guy, who had to testify against him.
"He just walked in like nothing happened, with a big smile," said Judith.
Prosecutor: "He just stopped responding?"
Victim: "No response, yeah."
It's the end of a long story - and maybe, the beginning of a long prison sentence.
Wolchek: "Hey Temo. Temo, stop here for a second and talk to me."
It seems like Rob has been chasing Temo Sessions around for years.
In 2022 Wolchek came face-to-face with Temo.
"You want to say anything to the victims? Anything at all?"
Oh wait, it has been years.
Then there was that time in 2019.
Wolchek: "You know after I did that story, I got more people calling me and saying you took their money and you didn't do any work at all. Okay, we'll be waiting for you."
Rob first tracked down Artemio Sessions in 2019.
Wolchek: "What do you think I should say to this Temo when I go talk to him?"
"'You a scumbag, dude,'" said Robert, a customer.
Temo ran a company out of Walled Lake called Garages R Us. He took in tens of thousands of dollars from lots of different customers to build them garages.
"I just want him stopped. He steal money from people," said Amy, another victim.
Wolchek: "This is your retirement money and you can't afford to lose this."
"No we can't," said Charles, another victim.
They say Temo played them by starting jobs, asking for more money, then never coming back.
"He took all my money. Now I don't have money to build another garage," said victim Judith.
"Out of all the guys in Michigan, in the state of Michigan, I found the biggest scumbag of them all," said victim Sylvester. "That's kinda crazy, right?"
And apparently, Temo is a lifelong "scumbag."
He's a habitual offender with a long criminal record, fraud and assault convictions. Plus he has a bunch of drunk driving offenses.
A week after my first story, he was in court for driving without a license. And when arrested he fought the cops and had to be tazed.
"We have the cameras here. We have the Hall of Shame after him," said Temo's attorney in 2019.
His lawyer at the time told the judge that Temo had hired a driver. He worked so hard he never took vacations. He was sober for eight years.
But Temo had just been on TV the week before driving. Plus, Temo had just posted photos of himself on Facebook on vacation holding what sure looks like a beer.
The judge called Temo, in his own way, a "scumbag" back in 2019.
Judge: "Telling the police officer 'F you, you need a warrant ... who the f are you?' Is that along the lines of being a better person?
Temo: "No sir."
Judge: "Hold on, I'm not done with my question. Does that show you're making amends to other people, to society, to other police officers, for your lengthy criminal history in the past?"
Temo: "No your honor."
Judge: What's it show me?"
Temo: "It shows a disrespect for the law."
That judge sent Temo to jail for 93 days.
But it's going to get a lot worse,
In 2021, Attorney General Dana Nessel charged Artemio Session with running a criminal enterprise and taking money under false pretenses, calling what he did in his garage business, "racketeering."
Temo was locked up again in 2021, but bonded out.
Now, it's time for the trial of Temo Session in Oakland County Circuit Court.
"Artemio Sessions convinced multiple homeowners, through a false pretense, that he was able, capable, and willing to build them a garage," said Bob Hayes, assistant attorney general in court. "We're going to prove to you that this man, lied to people, took their money, and he knowingly lied to them in order to get that money."
Attorney Amy Hopp represents Temo.
"These particular garages had specific issues, in addition to the weather, and these issues were things that were outside of my client's control," she said.
Several customers testified, saying Temo talked them out of their money and even double dipped, tricking their family members.
"After I wasn't here, he come to my son and my son give him some money," said a victim. "And after I call to my son, 'Son, you already pay him a lot of money' because my son trust(ed) him."
"It feels bad," said Judith. "It's a nightmare because I haven't been able to build back my garage - because I don't have the money."
One of the victims called to testify was Judith. She says in 2019 her old garage burned down. She hired Temo who took her money, demolished her backyard and disappeared.
In 2019 FOX 2 cameras were rolling when she showed her mess of a yard, with bricks all over and kids walking through a mess left behind.
"I said please, just build my garage," Judith said. "I'm a single mom with five kids, and the insurance is only giving me $15,000, and he just told me, 'Don't worry about it. I'm going to make it look so nice. You don't have to worry about anything."
She still worried, Judith still doesn't have a garage or her money.
After four days of trial, Temo was found guilty of taking money under false pretenses and guilty of conducting a criminal enterprise, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
"Temo will be sentenced later this month. Regardless of how much time he gets, he'll always be but for now, he'll always have a place in the Hhhhhhhhhhall of Shame!"