News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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September 22, 2012

Case for man accused of home improvement fraud, forgery moved to November

TERRE HAUTE — Another hearing has been set for a Vigo County building contractor accused in separate cases of home improvement fraud and forgery.

Lyman M. Roberts Jr., 40, appeared in Vigo Superior Court 5 on Friday where Judge Michael Rader agreed to continue the case to Nov. 9 at the request of defense attorney Vernon Lorenz.

In August, Lorenz had requested the continuance to Friday, noting the complicated nature of the case and his need for more time to prepare for trial. Lorenz told Rader that a trial could take four days.

On Friday, however, Lorenz said he was hoping to have “clear direction to resolve” the cases filed against Roberts by the November hearing date.

Roberts has been accused of forging checks on an account held by AMVETS Post 222. He allegedly wrote six checks to himself totaling $1,236.40 between Nov. 9, 2009, and March 1, 2010, and he allegedly signed those checks by forging someone’s signature. Forgery is a class-C felony.

He also faces separate allegations of home improvement fraud involving construction work he was hired to perform for people affected by the 2008 floods in the Wabash Valley. He allegedly accepted more than $80,000 from the United Way of the Wabash Valley to provide help to families who were unable to repair their homes due to flood or storm damage.

In some of those cases, the repair work was either unfinished or never started.

Three of the home improvement fraud charges are class-D felonies, while four are class-A misdemeanors.

 

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