A Cobb County grand jury has charged five people in a scam targeting senior citizens.
Helen Johnson, Larry McGill, Nicholas Mitchell, Rocky Mitchell and Gidget Williams have been indicted for racketeering and are accused of conspiring to defraud 25 elderly victims of over $74,500 in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett and Walton Counties.
According to a press release from the state attorney general, the indictment alleges that between July 28, 2011, and Feb. 15, 2013, the accused operated in crews comprised of different combinations of the named defendants and sought out residences of older homeowners. Once a home was identified, a member of the crew would approach the homeowner and offer a home service. Typically the crew member would quote a price and tell the homeowner the charge was a flat rate.
The homeowner would agree but after work was done, the crew would tell homeowners that the quoted price was actually the amount per volume of the materials or product used and a larger quantity had been used than expected.
Many homeowners believed that they could not protest the higher amount, while some attempted to negotiate. Feeling pressured, the homeowners would pay the higher amount via cash or check.
In one instance, the defendants allegedly defrauded an elderly couple of $39,280 in nine different transactions by returning to the residence and continuing to create the impression that more money was needed. The crew never actually did any of the work promised.
Racketeering is punishable by five to 20 years imprisonment and/or a $25,000 fine or three times the amount of any pecuniary value gained.
The case was investigated by Danny Vogt with the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection and David Farabaugh with the Roswell Police Department.