Sentenced in lawn work scams, man faces new charges in Westmoreland County

March 17, 2017

A 45-year-old man who was sentenced to probation in Washington County for failing to perform yard work he was paid to do faces similar charges in Westmoreland County.

Police charged Robert E. Jones of Forward Township, Allegheny County, Friday with home improvement fraud, deceptive business practices and theft Friday after the alleged victim told police she gave Jones $800 for lawn care services in January 2016. The woman said Jones drew up a contract for her, Officer Joseph Spinola wrote in court documents supporting the charges.

“(Jones) failed to do any of the contracted services, nor did he return the $800 payment,” Spinola wrote.

The would-be customer also told police she was unsuccessful when she later tried to contact Jones.

By the time she reported Jones to police Monday, he already faced three other sets of similar charges filed by Rostraver police and Westmoreland County detectives stemming from incidents in 2015 and 2016.

Jones is scheduled to appear March 27 before District Judge Charles Christner for a preliminary hearing on all four cases.

Court records show Jones is being held in Westmoreland County jail after Christner revoked his bond in one of those cases when he failed to appear for a proceeding earlier this month.

Washington County Judge Gary Gilman sentenced Jones to a year of probation March 8 after Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of deceptive business practices stemming from allegations he took a total of $1,250 from two people in 2014 to perform lawn maintenance at homes in Charleroi and Speers but never followed through.

Jones represented himself in the Washington County cases. Documents for the pending cases don’t list an attorney for him.

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