A roofing contractor accused of failing to perform repair services for Kentucky residents, including residents in Grayson County, despite being paid to do so, pleaded guilty last week to one count of theft by deception under $10,000.
41-year-old James Twaddle entered the guilty plea on Tuesday, March 18 in Bullitt Circuit Court, according to an announcement made by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Consumer Protection the following day.
Twaddle’s two-year prison sentence has been suspended for five years on the condition that he repays $7,389.96 in restitution to his victims.
If Twaddle does not pay the restitution in full by June 30, 2014, he will then be taken into custody, according to Conway’s Office.
The charge of theft by deception under $10,000 is a class D felony.
Twaddle was previously indicted on 26 counts of theft by deception in Grayson, Jefferson, Larue, and Scott counties. Many of these cases are still pending and involve victims who were solicited following storm events, Conway’s Office said.
Twaddle was previously the president of Restore-IT USA, a roofing company located in Columbus, Ohio and operated his business in Kentucky from an office located on Forest Green Boulevard in Louisville, according to Conway’s Office.
From May 2012 until Aug. 2012, Restore-IT USA employees visited neighborhoods to sign residents up for roof repairs. The employees would then collect payments for the roof repairs prior to the completion of any work.
According to Conway’s office, Twaddle allegedly deposited the money into a company bank account and transferred the funds to his personal account; meanwhile, no roof repairs were ever performed.
“Consumers who need work done quickly to repair storm-damaged homes and property are at risk of falling victim to unscrupulous fly-by-night contractors, also known as ‘storm chasers,’” said Conway.
Twaddle has also been indicted in Ohio on 42 counts of theft and insurance fraud related to the same scheme in the Columbus area.
Conway said, “Common scams include fraud, shoddy construction, charity scams, impersonating officials, and loan scams, and I urge consumers to report any incidents of possible fraud or shoddy construction work and repair using my Office of Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257.”