Crime

Man guilty of defrauding Granite City couple out of more than $15k in promised home repairs

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Ameren Illinois gives tips on how to avoid scams after metro-east communities are being targeting with fake utility bills.

A Gillespie man has been found guilty of scamming a Granite City couple out of at least $15,000 in promised home repairs that he never finished.

On Monday, a jury found Jerry Yeager Jr. guilty of one count of theft over $500, a news release from the Madison County States Attorney’s Office stated. He had also been charged with one count of aggravated home repair fraud of a person 60 years of age or older, but was found not guilty of that charge.

According to the release, this was the first time in the county’s history that an aggravated home repair fraud case had gone to trial.

From April 2014 through December 2014, Yeager promised the couple that he would repair damages to their roof, siding, garage doors, storm doors, windows and gutters that had resulted from a hail storm in the spring of 2014. The couple entered a contract with his company, Yeager and Ultimate Roofing.

During the trial, the couple told the jury that they’d paid Yeager a down payment of over $15,000 for the work. Six months later, Yeager’s company had only completed the roof job, but even that was not up to city code, a Granite City building inspector testified.

No other work was completed on the couple’s property, despite their attempts to contact Yeager for over a year.

Yeager was arrested by Granite City police on Dec. 9, 2016.

It took the jury less than an hour to deliberate, the release stated.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.

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