BEVERLY – A Beverly man who promised to turn school buses into tiny homes and build chicken coops and food and coffee concession trailers for customers across the country is now accused of defrauding multiple customers.
Lawrence “Larry” Kudlik, 63, of 2 Bartlett St., Beverly, now faces 20 separate criminal charges in Salem District Court.
That’s twice as many complaints as when The Salem News first reported his allegations last spring. Beverly police continued to press charges as other buyers came forward.
It also faces civil lawsuits from some customers.
A number of customers also approached the newspaper with similar accounts after finding the newspaper article online.
Kudlik’s attorney, Mark Dewan, told the judge Friday that he was aware of plans to bring the cases to a grand jury for indictment.
Assistant District Attorney who handles Superior Court cases, Michael Varone, now oversees the prosecution.
Kudlik, who remains free on bail conditions, did not appear in court for Friday’s hearing.
Judge Carol-Ann Fraser ordered him to report to the parole department by Monday to sign an updated order on his release conditions in the case.
Among the customers who said they ordered trailers or bus conversions were elderly and disabled people, a woman hoping to pay out-of-pocket for cancer treatment and other people who sent what amounted to their life savings in the hope to start a food or concession business, according to reports filed in the case by Beverly Police Detective Darlene Prinz.
He has continued to post videos on YouTube despite the allegations, but now includes a note that he is not currently running his business.
Kudlik, who also goes by the spelling Kuldik, including on Facebook, operated entities called “Enable RV,” “Cottage Concessions,” “FarmNYard,” “Chicken Coops For Sale,” “Boston Concessions” and “The Little Coffee Shop.” .
In some of his videos, Kudlik promotes the idea of using converted buses as accommodation for individuals who have lost their homes.
One video posted three weeks ago on his channel “SchoolBus Conversions” features a video of an elderly woman who says she lived in her car.
In the video, Kudlik, off camera, asks her what she thinks about the converted buses, then pleads with viewers to help the woman, but says in the message posted below: “I am not soliciting/accepting any funds. I just want to say how scary (sic) it is for the homeless to find help in Beverly MA.” He goes on to criticize the city’s response to the situation and claims that several organizations helping the homeless have “totally failed.”
In another video titled “I’m Lawrence Kudlik,” he is shown discussing homeless people climbing into dumpsters to seek shelter, then describes his work converting a camper into a homeless shelter.
The status hearing is scheduled for February 21.
Court reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis