ROCKLAND — A state judge has ordered Malcolm and Elizabeth Stewart and their defunct Castle Builders company to pay $744,253 to benefit former customers.

Justice Bruce Mallonee issued his judgment on Sept. 22 and the time to appeal has passed. Liens against the Stewarts and their failed company based in Union were filed in the Knox County Registry of Deeds on Friday, Dec. 16.

The judge also barred the pair and the company from soliciting customers as a general contractor.

The judgment is to be paid to the Maine Attorney General’s Office which will disburse any money received to the victims. A judgment, however, does not guarantee there is any money to recoup from the Stewarts or Malcolm Stewart.

The state won a default judgment after the couple left a Zoom call on what was to be the first day of a civil trial back on Aug. 23.

In August 2021 an attachment of $359,350 was placed on the Stewart’s property at 16 Prescott Road in Washington. The town had the 15 acres and buildings valued at $285,171.

A case in U.S. Bankruptcy Court concluded in March 2022 with only $5,000 in claims being paid while nearly $40,000 in administrative fees were paid. The initial claims filed in the bankruptcy case totaled more than $1.1 million including taxes and payroll. There were 177 creditors listed in their bankruptcy filing, and most of them were former customers of Castle Builders. Former workers, suppliers and the government were also listed as creditors.

While the civil lawsuit and bankruptcy cases are completed, the criminal case against Malcolm Stewart remains.

The next court hearing on the criminal case is Jan. 20 in the Knox County court. Stewart’s attorney is asking for the charges to be dismissed, and if the case goes to trial to have it moved outside Knox County because of extensive pre-trial publicity.

Stewart was indicted in March 2021 by a Knox County grand jury for two counts of theft by deception. He pleaded not guilty in May 2021. Stewart remains free on bail.

Stewart now resides in Pelzer, South Carolina. He signed a Maine Pre-Trial Contract and must have no contact with the scores of alleged victims. He also had to turn in his passport. Stewart is a Canadian citizen and has a green card.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office filed April 6, 2022 a memo calling for a sentence of eight years in prison with all but five years suspended, to be followed by three years of probation for Stewart if he is convicted.

The criminal offenses are alleged to have occurred from April 2018 until September 2019 in Knox, Waldo, Hancock, Kennebec, Lincoln and Somerset counties.