CINCINNATI — A Hamilton County building contractor is charged with using his home improvement business to defraud an 88-year-old woman out of more than $40,000.
On Thursday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that a Hamilton County Grand Jury has indicted William Modafari, 44, on 22 counts including theft from the elderly and misuse of a credit card.
All the charges are felonies. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Prosecutors allege that an 88-year-old woman hired Modafari, also known as William Montuano, to do repairs at her home. However, he did little or no work, while overcharging for minor repairs or making her pay for items that never were used at the home, according to DeWine.
“This case is part of our ongoing effort to collaborate with local law enforcement and prosecutors to hold scam artists criminally accountable,” the attorney general said in a release. “This individual is accused of taking advantage of an elderly woman under the guise of offering home improvement services.”
Attorneys with the Economic Crimes Unit, a division of the Consumer Protection Section, are appointed special prosecutors in the case by the Hamilton County Prosecutor. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the investigation.
It's not clear why they're turning to a special prosecutor for the case.
DeWine says he created the Economic Crimes Unit in 2011 to identify criminal conduct in consumer fraud cases and assist prosecuting attorneys in holding scammers criminally accountable.
To date, the unit has helped convict 83 people.
Consumers who suspect a scam should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515.
WCPO will update this story when more information is available.