St. Louis area contractor accused of scamming homeowners

In 2017, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for fraud in Jefferson County. Fewer than two years later, he was released and accused of scamming again

ST. LOUIS — A recommendation from a neighbor or friend can often seal the deal. Especially if you’re looking for a contractor.

It didn’t work out well for one Hazelwood man. He told the 5 On Your Side I-Team he had no idea his roofing contractor had just been released from prison for stealing thousands from his customers.

This spring when Justin McDonald found out his roof was leaking, he knew he needed to act fast.

“I was getting some water leak from a rainstorm,” said McDonald.

The lockdown had just started. Finding a contractor was tricky. So, McDonald felt lucky when his neighbor had a recommendation for him: Donald “DJ” Harralston with ‘Multiple Trade Solutions LLC’.

“[Harralston claimed he] worked with,

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Coppell man charged with scamming $17 million in PPP money to buy luxury cars and homes

Federal investigators say a Coppell man fraudulently applied for dozens of federal stimulus PPP grants and received more than $17 million that he spent buying real estate and luxury cars such as a Bentley and a Corvette.



Government prosecutors have now charged dozens of people with fraudulently receiving grants from the Payroll Protection Program.


© Brian Elledge/Staff Photographer/The Dallas Morning News/TNS
Government prosecutors have now charged dozens of people with fraudulently receiving grants from the Payroll Protection Program.

A coalition of federal agencies charged Dinesh Sah, 55, of Coppell, with applying for $24.8 million in PPP loans for 15 businesses that claimed to have more than 500 employees, but in fact, many of the businesses were registered after the CARES Act was passed and did not have any employees, according to court documents detailing the indictment.

“Mr. Sah exploited this terrible pandemic for personal gain – and he should be held accountable to the American people for that behavior,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox in

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Contractor scamming in ENC: What is it and how to protect yourself

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Contractor scams are a rising problem in eastern North Carolina. People who hire workers for projects often finding themselves in situations with loss of money, and an unfinished project.

To prevent these problems from happening, legal construction workers say it’s important to know who you’re working with.

If a contractor asks their customers for money upfront, and don’t have a legal construction license this can be a red flag.

Frank McLawhorn, owner of Frank McLawhorn Construction Inc. says when looking for a contractor, homeowners should ask for certificates, workers’ compensation, and general liability insurance.

A contractor should also be able to provide people with multiple references, and any further background information requested.

Bad workers often look for older customers or young people who may have never hired a contractor before.

Another common problem here in the East? Scammers taking advantage of people after severe weather, like

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