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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Construction Con Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Home Repair Scam

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 4:52 PM

click to enlarge Donald Harralston scammed elderly home repair customers out of thousands. - IMAGES VIA MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
  • Images via Missouri Department of Corrections
  • Donald Harralston scammed elderly home repair customers out of thousands.

A crooked contractor was sentenced this week to a decade in prison for ripping off customers of his home repair business.

Donald Harralston, 34, of Ballwin pleaded guilty in June to two counts of financial exploitation of the elderly. A longtime criminal with a string of convictions for crimes including burglary, theft and leaving the scene of an accident, he was running a construction scam in recent years, authorities say.

Prosecutors from the state Attorney General's Office accused Harralston of pocketing down payments from seven customers in Jefferson County for roof repairs and then absconding without doing the work.

Along with the ten-year prison sentence handed down on Monday, Harralston was ordered to pay $18,156 in restitution to his victims.

“Verdicts like this make clear that those who prey upon the elderly will not get away with it in Missouri,” Attorney General Josh Hawley said in a statement. “My office will continue to protect consumers from scammers, and scammers will continue to be punished for their crimes.”

The Better Business Bureau has been dogging the scam artist for years, issuing an alert in November 2015 to warn potential customers about his company, All American Remodeling. Investigators for nonprofit watchdog spoke to multiple customers in St. Louis County who complained of paying Harralston thousands of dollars for repairs he never made.

"Mr. Harralston has proven repeatedly that he is not someone to be trusted," BBB president and CEO Michelle Corey said at the time.

Harralston was also sentenced last year in St. Louis County to four years in prison for deceptive business practices and unlawful possession of a gun. It was not immediately clear whether he'll be able to serve his latest sentence simultaneously, or whether it will be added to his prison time.

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