Man gets 1 year of probation for fraud

GREENFIELD — A Georgia man agreed to serve time on probation after admitting he tricked a local senior into paying $16,000 to have a driveway repaved.

Eddie Harrison, 27, of Acworth, Georgia, recently pleaded guilty to one felony count of home improvement fraud, admitting he misrepresented the cost of the work and whom he was working for, records show.

He was ordered to serve one year on probation as his sentence, records show.

Harrison was charged in September after an 85-year-old Greenfield man reported a group of men who claimed to work for the Hancock County Highway Department visited his home and offered to repave his driveway.

The victim said he spoke with one worker — later identified by police as Harrison — who said the crew was looking to use up materials left over from work they were doing nearby. Harrison said the crew would charge $2 per foot of repaving; because the victim’s driveway was about 100 feet long, the full job would cost about $200, Harrison had said, according to court documents.

The victim told police he agreed to have the work done, and he signed an initial contract with Harrison for the $200 project, court documents state.

But when the work was complete, Harrison ripped up the original contract and pressured the alleged victim into signing a new one, court documents state. The paperwork stated the crew had repaved 8,500 square feet and called for the victim to pay $16,000, court documents state.

The victim wrote Harrison a check, and Harrison took the check to a Greenfield bank to have it cashed, court documents state.

Harrison accepted a plea agreement from prosecutors, which called for him to plead guilty to one of the three felony counts he faced.

Harrison recently appeared before a judge in Hancock County Superior Court 1 and pleaded guilty to one Level 6 felony count of home improvement fraud, records show. Two Level 5 felony counts of home improvement fraud that Harrison also faced were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, records show.

Police used security camera footage and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles records to confirm Harrison was the one to speak with the victim and cashed the man’s check, court documents state.

Copies of the final bill, which showed Harrison charged the victim $16,000, were handed over to police. The documents showed Harrison’s signature and listed his company as R&M Road Materials, court documents state.

The company does not exist, police later learned; the address for its office led investigators to a hotel in Greenwood, where employees said they’d never seen Harrison, according to court documents.

The Hancock County Highway Department also confirmed Harrison and his crew were not working for the county, court documents state.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.