AG Hawley announces St. Louis contractor pleads guilty to home repair fraud
released on July 19, 2017
found in newsletter: June & July 2017
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that Donald J. Harralston, 34, pleaded guilty to stealing by deceit and unlawful merchandising practices today in St. Louis County Circuit Court. In his plea, Harralston admitted that he lied to three St. Louis home-owners when he contracted to install new roofs but instead took their down payments and then failed to do any work or provide any materials.
The Court sentenced Harralston to four years in prison and will require him to pay restitution of $16,100 to the victims once he is released from prison.
AG Hawley recommends the following tips to avoid being scammed:
Always have a written contract before any work is done on your home or property. Make sure you have a detailed scope of the work to be provided.
Ask for and check references for past jobs.
Never pay cash. Always pay by check. If there is a problem, it helps the authorities in obtaining information to hopefully find the scammers.
Before signing a contract, check with the Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-392-8222 and the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been complaints about the contractor.
Hawley joined with St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch to prosecute Harralston for defrauding St. Louis County consumers. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Steven Reed, Michelle Hinkl and David Ma. Investigator Tyler Wood investigated the case.
Original Press Release