ROCKLAND — A court hearing requested by Malcolm Stewart, who ran the defunct Castle Builders contractor company in Union, was postponed Sept. 24 after he failed to attend a video conference.

The video hearing was scheduled at Stewart’s request. He is asking the Knox County court to amend his bail so he can travel outside South Carolina, where he is currently living. Stewart said in a court filing that he was asked by his former employer to deliver cars to North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

Stewart informed the state two days ago that he could not appear at the Sept. 24 video hearing, because he had an appointment for dialysis.

Assistant Attorney General Suzanne Russell said the state is not opposed to him working, but pointed out he is in the U.S. on a green card status, which expires in January 2022.

Russell also pointed out Stewart failed to have an attorney file an appearance on his behalf. Stewart earlier claimed he did not have the money to hire an attorney, but the court ruled he was not indigent and could afford to hire his own lawyer.

Stewart, 56, is scheduled to appear in the Knox County court via video Sept. 30 for a dispositional conference. The court will also consider amending his bail Sept. 30 for him to travel for his job. A dispositional conference is held to see if the two sides can reach an agreement.

He was indicted March 25 and pleaded not guilty May 20 to two criminal counts of theft by deception.

He remains free on unsecured bail, with the stipulation he cannot leave South Carolina except to attend court hearings.

Fifty-six victims of the alleged scheme were listed in the indictment with the amount of thefts totaling $437,906. The criminal offenses are alleged to have occurred from April 2018 until September 2019 in Knox, Waldo, Hancock, Kennebec, Lincoln and Somerset counties.

A separate civil lawsuit by the AG’s Office accuses Stewart and his wife Elizabeth Stewart of bilking more than 100 people out of more than $1 million by accepting payment for work but doing the jobs.

Filings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maine by the Stewarts indicate they have claims against them totaling $1,215,877. This includes $165,234 in taxes owed to the government.

These charges came after the abrupt closure of Castle Builders in September 2019.