Welcome to The Home Equity Theft Reporter, a blog dedicated to informing the consumer public and the legal profession about Home Equity Theft issues. This blog will consist of information describing the various forms of Home Equity Theft and links to news reports & other informational sources from throughout the country about the victims of Home Equity Theft and what government authorities and others are doing about it.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Prosecutor: Out-Of-State Home Improvement Scammer Moved To New Jersey Shortly After Superstorm Sandy, Then Began Ripping Of Over A Dozen Storm-Victimized Homeowners By Pocketing Contract Deposits Totaling $450K+ & Failing To Perform Agreed Upon Home Renovation Work
From the Office of the Ocean County, New Jersey Prosecutor's Office:
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato  announced that on Wednesday (12/14) the Ocean County Grand Jury indicted Jamie Lawson, 41, owner of Lawson Renovations, L.L.C., DBA, J & N Construction, for the commission of Sandy Fraud. Its alleged Lawson took money from fourteen homeowners in Toms River and Brick Townships and then did either no work or less than contracted services on their homes. He allegedly used the money for vehicles and personal expenses.
Lawson moved to New Jersey shortly after Superstorm Sandy and made application to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to be licensed as a Home Improvement Contractor. The State licensed Lawson based upon his material misrepresentations on the application including his failure to disclose criminal convictions in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Shortly thereafter, he began taking contracts to perform Sandy related renovations and demolition/new home construction.
The specific counts of the Indictment include Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity (Money Laundering) – Second Degree (more than $75,000), six counts of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition – Second Degree (more than $75,000), nine counts of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition – Third Degree (more than $500 and less than $75,000), Tampering with Public Records for submitting a fictitious Home Improvement Contractor Application Third Degree and one count of Unregistered Home Improvement Contracting – Fourth Degree. Superior Court Judge Patricia B. Roe, J.S.C. set bail on the Indictment Warrant at $150,000, restricted him from engaging in home improvement & building contracts and required him to surrender his passport.
The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted in cooperation with the Brick Police Department, Toms River Police Department, Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Anyone who has not already reported a theft and believes that they have been defrauded by Lawson or J. & N. Construction should contact Sergeant Mark Malinowski of the Economic Crime Unit of Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 929-2027 x 4032.
CBC News: Betrayal of Trust (A CBC investigation reveals how lawyers across Canada have misappropriated and mishandled clients money, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, or sometimes even charging vulnerable people top dollar for shoddy services)
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