Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 27, 2013

Owners plead not guilty in roofing scam

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

IRONTON — The owners of a storm-damage repair contracting firm accused of running a roofing scam that cost a number of Ohio residents thousands of dollars pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges against them on Tuesday.

Leo Patrick Richard Jr. and his wife, Carol Richard, of Manhattan, Ill., were arraigned in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court before Judge D. Scott Bowling.

The Richards, owners of All Seasons Contracting Inc. of Grayson, were indicted last week on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft, theft from the elderly, money laundering and receiving stolen property. If convicted, the Richards each face a maximum sentence of more than 40 years in prison, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said.

The Richards turned themselves in at the Ironton Police Department on Monday. Bowling allowed the couple to be released from custody on a $200,000 own-recognizance bond with a cash surety and GPS monitoring, a deputy in the Lawrence County Clerk of Courts’ office said.

Bowling also scheduled a pre-trial conference for 2 p.m. Dec. 19.

The indictment against the Richards alleges that beginning in September 2012, Leo Patrick Richard and his company swept through Lawrence County and accepted insurance funds from the victims for new roofs before leaving town in September of this year, and that Carol Richard shared in the proceeds of the company.  All Seasons has not provided refunds to the victims or started any of the roofing repair work, DeWine said.

The attorney’s general’s office also has filed a separate civil action in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court against the Richards and All Seasons. According to that complaint, about 35 Ohio consumers reported losing a total of more than $171,000 to the Richards and All Seasons.

The suit seeks a civil penalty of $25,000 for each separate violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.

A grand jury indictment is a formal accusation of a crime and does not establish guilt.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.