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Archive for Sunday, September 25, 2005

Texas men charged with fraud in Kansas

September 25, 2005

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— Two Texas men are accused of targeting elderly people in home-repair scams in five states, including Kansas.

Federal charges have been filed against Edward Ted McDonald, 44, and his brother-in-law, Edward James Jennings, 43. They are accused of using several aliases as they went from state to state, representing themselves as contractors for roof repairs, driveway work and other jobs between May 2003 and April 2005.

McDonald and Jennings operated in California, Oregon, Arizona and Kansas, according to court documents.

The men did substandard work, then left town with their clients' money and left no contact information, said the U.S. Attorney's office in Anchorage.

In Arizona, the men allegedly set a roof on fire and told the homeowner that their insurance would cover the damage. In Oregon, they charged one person $8,000 for a two-hour rat extermination job, the charging documents say.

They were arrested by Alaska State Troopers in Ketchikan last spring when they tried to obtain Alaska drivers' licenses with false-looking California identification, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

After an FBI investigation, both men were charged Tuesday with one count of conspiracy, two counts of Social Security fraud, two counts of identify theft, two counts of possessing multiple forms of identification and one count of trademark infringement. Both men have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The trademark charge stems from the men saying they would apply a particular brand of roof coating when they did not, the documents say.

McDonald's attorney, Hugh Fleischer, said his client had decades of experience and that "a lot of reputable work had been done on both roofing and driveway repairs."

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