Here in CA you can pursue a contractor through his license. I have to have a bond to get my license and that creates a pool of money to reimburse people in your situation. Not sure how well this system works, but find out if your state has something like it.
If nothing else, pursue him through his license and file a formal complaint. Here that would cause him to lose his license, and I would bet he would suddenly find the money to reimburse you!