Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that James R. Butts, 31, pled guilty to unlawful merchandising practices in Pulaski County. In his plea, Butts admitted that he falsely promised a homeowner that, in exchange for $ 9,762 dollars, he and his company Marshfield Landscaping and Fence, LLC would order privacy fence materials and install a residential privacy fence for the homeowner. Despite being paid, Mr. Butts failed to provide any work or materials to the homeowner.
“Hiring a contractor and paying for construction can be a tricky process for homeowners, and scammers are continually looking for ways to take advantage of that confusion – that’s unacceptable,” said AG Schmitt. “My office always stands prepared to hold those who prey on Missouri homeowners accountable.”
As part of his plea, Mr. Butts paid back over $15,000 in restitution to the homeowner he defrauded as well as a second homeowner, who was not a victim in the case but who had been the victim of a similar fraud by Mr. Butts.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Jake Aubuchon and Amy Davis. Investigative work was done by Margie Colon. Consumers who believe they may have been scammed by a contractor should file a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office by calling the Consumer protection hotline at (800) 392-8222 or submitting a complaint online.