Two contractors indicted by grand jury

Mat Heck

Mat Heck

DAYTON — Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck, Jr. announced today that two local contractors, Brandon Valandingham, 35, of West Carrollton, and Robert Tracy Greene, 53, of Dayton, have been indicted on counts related to their failure to perform contracted repair work on homes and properties damaged by last May‘s tornadoes.

Defendant Valandingham, doing business as Buckeye Storm Solutions, entered into contracts with at least four victims to repair their roofs, which were damaged by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

Valandingham took down payments from the victims, and never returned to complete any of the work.

Defendant Greene, doing business as TK Home Improvement, went to tornado‐damaged areas seeking jobs doing repair work.

At least 10 victims entered into contracts with Greene and made down payments or full payment. Greene either completed only partial work or failed to complete any of the contracted repairs.

Today, the Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted defendant Valandingham:

• Six counts of Theft >$1,000

• Two counts of Theft >$7,500 from an elderly/disabled person

Defendant Greene was indicted for:

• 12 counts of Theft >$1,000

• Four counts of Theft >$1,000 from an elderly/disabled person

• Four counts of Theft from an elderly/disabled person

• Two counts of Petty Theft

“Immediately after the tornadoes tore through the Miami Valley, we saw the best and the worst in humanity,” Heck said. “There were a number of examples of neighbors, and in some cases, strangers, helping those in need without being asked or paid. These defendants took advantage of homeowners who badly needed repairs made to their homes. Instead of helping, they simply took the money and ran. Beware of anyone going door‐to‐door offering to do home remodeling and repair, and be diligent in researching contractors.”

Heck continued, “Here are some tips on what you should do and what you should look for before agreeing to hire a contractor:

• Ask for a written, itemized estimate for the work they are offering to do. Anyone unwilling to provide an estimate is not worth your time and money.

• Ask for a business card or other identification. Any legitimate contractor will have business cards.

• Be wary of unmarked vehicles and trucks. If possible, photograph the contractor’s work truck; photograph the license plate on the vehicles or photograph their identification.

• This information can be very valuable in the event law enforcement becomes involved.

• Call the Better Business Bureau and ask if they have any information on the business.

• See if they are licensed to do business in the State of Ohio – visit the Secretary of State’s website and see if they are registered in Ohio.

• Make sure to ask if the business is licensed and bonded. Ask if they have proof. All legitimate home contractors should be willing to provide proof they are licensed, bonded, and insured.

• Do not pay the total amount up‐front before the contractor does any work. They might well take your money and run.

• Roofing contractors are a special concern. The contractor may offer to patch or replace your roof for a good price. However, if the work they perform is subpar, you are left with a leaky roof and the contractor is long gone.

“If you are approached by contractors who appear to be fraudulent, call the Better Business Bureau and report them,” Heck added. “If you have paid them money or received no services, call your local police agency or my Consumer Fraud Unit to report the problem. If we determine the contractor is breaking the law, we will make every attempt to identify and prosecute them and hold them accountable.”

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of both defendants. They are scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 8:30 a.m.

Mat Heck Heck

Staff Report