Checks help but are not enough

Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Any day now, 35 Ironton residents can expect to receive restitution that was ordered in a home improvement case in which the victims were left with empty pockets and leaky roofs.

The checks were issued Monday and should offer some relief to those who were swindled by All Seasons of Kentucky, a storm-damage repair company that took residents’ money without providing the work agreed to. In many cases, homeowners signed over insurance checks to the company, never to receive the work promised.

While the payments are a long time coming — the business operated in Ironton in 2012 — homeowners are only receiving a fraction of what was lost.

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Patrick and Carol Richard, of Manhattan, Illinois, owners of All Seasons, were convicted in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court of stealing from residents and were ordered to pay more than $143,000 in restitution. Only about $46,000 has been paid so far, and that’s likely all the victims will ever see.

Even though Patrick Richard asked for and was granted more time to collect additional funds before his incarceration date, no additional money has been paid.

This is a slap in the face to the homeowners who still haven’t been able to repair their homes because the Richards were living lavish lifestyles and used company money to pay for cars and yacht club memberships.

While residents didn’t get everything that was owed to them, they can take some comfort in knowing the Richards aren’t going to get away with this scam in another town.