A Collinsville man will spend the next five years in prison after pleading guilty to charges he bilked an elderly person for promised home repairs.
The plea comes as St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced the formation of an Elder Justice Council.
James C. Boswell, 34, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated home repair fraud and was sentenced last week by St. Clair County Chief Judge John Baricevic.
The charges stated that Boswell “knowingly entered into an unconscionable oral agreement” with a person over the age of 60. The charges alleged the there was an unreasonable difference between the value of the work performed and the amount charged. The repairs were for more than $500.
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The case was investigated by the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.
The Elder Justice Council will be modeled on the St. Clair County Juvenile Justice Council, which has been in place for three years and led to numerous changes and improvements in juvenile justice policy in St. Clair County, Kelly said.
“Elder abuse and exploitation are crimes that are chronically underreported. The council we are forming is an effort to seek justice for Illinois’ victimized seniors,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Lewis, who will head the council.
As Boswell’s case was concluded, Kelly charged two others with financially victimizing a person over 60.
▪ George J. Neal, 46, of Phoenix, Ariz., was charged with aggravated home repair fraud. The charges state Neal contracted with an O’Fallon homeowner to do work with the company CMR Construction Co. when he knew he was not employed with that company. The case was investigated by O’Fallon police. Neal’s bail is set at $75,000.
▪ Linda M. Durrett, 56, of Belleville, was charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person. The charges stated the Durrett held a position of trust over the assets of a person who was more than 80 years old and illegally used more than $5,000 of those assets. The case was investigated by the Illinois State Police. Durrett’s bail is set at $75,000.
Kelly is currently seeking volunteers from community organizations and members of the public to serve on a new Elder Justice Council, which will serve as a forum for the development and implementation of best practices for the protection of senior and prevention of elder crimes in St. Clair County.
The first meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 12 at the St. Clair County Building on the fifth floor in the County Board conference room. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Lewis at (618) 277-3892.