Fraudulent contractor facing new charges
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man at the center of a WSAZ Investigation finds himself facing new charges.
Robert Eugene Jones was featured in a WSAZ Investigation in August of 2020, accused of swindling dozens of homeowners across the region out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for incomplete contracting, plumbing, and electrical work he wasn’t licensed to perform.
Victims range from young families, single homeowners, businesses and even elderly individuals.
On January 28th, 2021, Jones was arrested in Putnam County for charges stemming from an incident in Lincoln County, where he is accused of taking more than $22,000 for repairs he never made. He has been held in the Western Regional Jail ever since.
But despite spending the last several months behind bars, more victims continue to come forward, and more charges continue to appear.
Here’s a look at some of the new charges that have been filed since our last report:
According to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County in early February, Robert Jones visited a home in South Charleston on January 15th, 19th, and 20th, 2021, and received $13,000 in cash from the victim to work on electrical issues around the house.
Mr. Jones is not a licensed electrician and does not have a contractor, plumbing or electrical license through the state of West Virginia.
According to officers, he did not perform any work around the house that was agreed upon with the victim. He received $13,000 and never returned to complete the job.
He is charged with obtaining money under false pretenses.
Around the same time, police in Lewis County, West Virginia were contacted on January 15th by a store employee who said on January 7th, Jones came into his place of employment in Weston. According to the victim, Jones purchased a pallet of electronic goods in the amount of $975 using a check.
The victim says Jones returned on January 8th and purchased more palletized goods for $1,925 using another check.
The victim says he went to deposit both checks, but the checks were returned because the account was closed.
The victim tells police he contacted Jones several times to fix the errors, but he kept making excuses about when and how he would pay for the goods.
An officer got a search warrant for the bank account associated with the invalid checks.
The officer learned the account had been closed in September 2020 due to fraud.
This incident led Jones to be charged with two counts of obtaining property by worthless check and one count of fraudulent schemes.
Between taxes and returned check fees, in total, the victim had been defrauded $3,094.
On the day of Jones’ arrest, and following WSAZ’s broadcast of his arraignment, law enforcement in Putnam County were contacted by a woman on behalf of her elderly mother.
The daughter recognized Jones after watching the WSAZ story and told police her mother had also hired Jones for work he never completed.
In the Spring of 2019, the mother needed home renovations and after getting three estimates for the work, ‘A Personal Services,’ a now-defunct company owned by Robert Eugene Jones, was selected to perform the work.
She paid him more than $64,000 for different repairs around the home. She says some areas he didn’t touch, others were done so poorly, they are already needing to be fixed and replaced.
In this case, Jones is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person, fraudulent schemes, and obtaining money by false pretenses.
The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office has been fighting a civil lawsuit against Jones in Putnam County, where a judge ordered the website and contact information for Jones business be removed from the internet pending ongoing litigation.
The latest four victims to file charges are owed more than $100,000 combined, according to court documents.
If you believe you may have been defrauded by Jones or any other similar situation, contact the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office here or call 1-800-368-8808.
Jones combined cash/surety bond totals $90,000.
Copyright 2021 WSAZ. All rights reserved.