scam

Three local men have been arrested and charged with scamming an elderly couple out of thousands of dollars for the same job they were hired to do.

David Young, 67, of Ironton; William Hillis, 46, of Bismarck; and Ronald Lange, 40, of Park Hills; are charged with a class B felony of financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person.

According to a probable cause statement, on June 9, a deputy spoke with a woman about a possible fraud case involving her elderly parents. The woman said she was at her parents’ house off Colony Church Road when Young knocked on the door.

She said her father allowed Young inside and once inside he told the woman’s father that the bank would not cash the check he was given for the job he was hired to do. Young was supposed to paint the elderly couple's barn.

Young told the couple that one of them would have to go to the bank in order to have the check cashed. The woman drove her father to the bank in Farmington and while there she discovered that her father had already written two checks for repairs to the barn.

The first check was written to Hillis in the amount of $3,400 and the second check was written to Lange in the amount of $3,400. After leaving the bank, the woman took her father home and Young pulled up behind them.

The woman asked Young if he knew Hillis and Lange and he told her he did. Young told her that they told him to paint the roof of the barn for the elderly couple. The woman then told Young she was not going to help him cash the $4,800 check that her mother had written him.

She also told Young that her family had been in contact with their insurance company and they said the cost to repair the barn would be approximately $1,300, The woman told Young she felt Hillis and Lange had already been paid enough.

The woman told the deputy that when she told Young he was not getting paid by her or her parents he seemed like it was no big deal and asked her to help him get his license back from the bank. She told Young she would not help him in any way.

The deputy told the woman to call a local construction company and get a written estimate for the repairs to the barn before Young, Hillis and Lange had worked on it. The deputy also asked for copies of the checks that were cashed, as well as the one that wasn’t.

The woman was able to provide everything the deputy needed, including pictures of the barn before any work was done and pictures of Hillis cashing one of the checks. She did tell the deputy that her parents wouldn’t be much help in the investigation.

Young, Hillis and Lange were being held in the St. Francois County Jail on a $25,000 bond each.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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