Seven people have been indicted after allegedly ripping off elderly victim in several Ohio counties with a fake home improvement scheme, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office.
"These scammers preyed on people mostly in their 80s and 90s," said DeWine. "They not only preyed upon them once, but in most cases, they continued their lies to get more money. And that has added up to a loss of $102,000 for more than a dozen victims. We know there are more victims, which is why this investigation is not over."
The incidents occurred in Fairfield, Franklin, Pickaway and Ross counties.
The suspects approached the homeowners with a story about something that needed to be fixed, and the homeowner would agree. However, later it was discovered the bill was much higher than the victims had been told, with little or no work performed.
In some circumstances, the suspects would demand money from the victims, saying they had fixed the issue without their permission, according to the AG’s Office.
Bruce McFarland, Herschel Mumaw, Mark Christman, Mark Kitchen, Michael Fausnaugh, David Ramey and Thristian Harding, all from the Circleville area, were indicted in Fairfield County on multiple felony accounts, according to DeWine’s office.
"Twelve years ago, the Attorney General's Office sent more than thirty people to prison for robbing senior citizens in this same kind of scam," Attorney General DeWine said. "When we learned that some of the same people had served their prison time, gotten out, and were continuing their hunt for elderly victims in a new home repair scam, our investigators, along with so many other law enforcement detectives, worked tirelessly to put a stop to this."
Mumaw and McFarland were part of the “Circleville 30,” a group of relatives and friends who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly homeowners. In 2000, a task force led by the AG’s Office convicted more than 30 people.
The investigation is ongoing and additional suspects could be charged, according to DeWine’s office.
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