Defendants in All Seasons scam plead guilty

Published 4:24 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A husband and wife accused of swindling dozens of Ironton residents out of money in a home repair scam pleaded guilty to amended charges Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Owners of All Seasons of Kentucky, Leo Patrick Richard Jr., and his wife, Carol Richard, both of Manhattan, Ill., appeared in Judge D. Scott Bowling’s courtroom for a pretrial in anticipation of a trial that was to begin on Oct. 14. The couple instead admitted guilt to 37 charges.

Both Richards pleaded guilty to a count of third-degree attempted engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a charge the was amended from a first-degree felony.

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Patrick Richard also pleaded guilty to 11 fourth-degree counts of theft from the elderly and two fourth- and 22 fifth-degree counts of theft. Thirty-three additional counts of theft and money laundering were dismissed as part of a plea negotiation.

Carol Richard’s 35 counts of receiving stolen property were also dismissed.

Sentencing for Carol will be Oct. 15.

J. Bartley Cosgrove, assistant Ohio attorney general of the consumer protection and economic crimes unit, who is prosecuting the case, said his office would recommend community control sanctions for the woman’s sentence.

Patrick’s sentencing was set for Jan. 7.

Bowling told the man that his sentencing date was set in January to allow him to continue to make restitution payments and the court was not making any promises or guarantees not to sentence him to prison.

Cosgrove said restitution of about $143,400 was owed.

Patrick Richard’s attorney, Chris Delawder, said his client has paid about $67,000 with three cashiers checks that was being held in a trust account.

Bowling said when $55,000 was paid to the clerk of courts’ office, the man could be released from his GPS monitoring, but he would be required to make weekly contact with the adult probation department.

The Richards were indicted in November on more than 100 criminal acts following a months-long investigation by the Ironton Police Department and Ohio Attorney General’s Office into allegations the company was paid for home repair services but did not perform any or all of the work they were hired to do.

All Seasons of Kentucky operated in Ironton from December 2012 to April 2013. Dozens of consumers complained the business did no work at all or did work that was shoddy.

After taking customers’ money and doing little or no work, records allegedly show the owners made personal car payments and yacht club payments from the All Seasons of Kentucky bank account, according to the attorney general’s office.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office also filed a civil lawsuit against All Seasons of Kentucky and the Richards in September 2013. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas, concluded with a default judgment in July 2014. The defendants were ordered to pay $169,004 in consumer restitution and $75,000 in civil penalties.

Shields Roofing and Construction, of South Point, also filed a lawsuit in June of 2013, which concluded in August of this year with a judgment of $43,241 awarded to the plaintiff for unpaid services.