Dennis Landon, a fomer Richwood builder who operated a home-improvement company called Landon Building Systems in Union County, Ohio, was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay court costs and $106,488 in restitution for accepting payment from homeowners in Ohio and four other states for work he never completed. He is alleged to have defrauded 27 victims from Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New Jersey from February to August 2004.
â€œMr. Landon accepted thousands of dollars for work he never intended to complete,â€ Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro said. â€œThis prison sentence sends a clear message to other would-be scam artists â€“ if you get paid, you better do the work.â€
Last December, Landon was indicted on 59 counts, including a single charge for violating Ohioâ€™s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO); 21 counts of theft; four counts of grand theft; a count each of grand theft and theft, with enhancement as theft from an elderly person; 26 counts of money laundering and five counts of telecommunications fraud. Landon pleaded guilty to 27 counts of theft and the remaining charges were dropped.
Landon subcontracted much of the work to install his pre-manufactured pole barns and garages, but failed to pay for the labor and materials. As a result, many of the subcontractors placed liens on some of the customersâ€™ homes.
â€œBecause the work was shoddy or incomplete, the customers were forced to pay additional money to someone else to complete the job. In many of these cases, the victims got nothing at all for their money,â€ Union County Prosecutor David Phillips said.
While several of Landonâ€™s customers have secured judgments against him, he has not paid any refunds for the incomplete work. Of the 27 victims, six are from Union County, Ohio; five from Marion County, Ohio; two each from Crawford, Logan and Morrow Counties, Ohio; and one each from Auglaize, Champaign, Delaware, Franklin, Medina and Wyandot counties and the states of Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.