WARSAW — A third man was arrested in connection to a home improvement fraud that cost an elderly woman tens of thousands of dollars.
Peter Jeffery Iseton, 50, 119 N. Crappie Road, Silver Lake, is charged with exploitation of an endangered adult and home improvement fraud, both level 6 felonies; home improvement fraud, a class A misdemeanor; and home improvement fraud sentence enhancement, a level 5 felony.
Robert Kenneth Melton, 32, Silver Lake, was arrested on March 5. Chester Leroy Hankey, 47, Silver Lake, was arrested on Sept. 11, 2018. Both Melton and Hankey were booked on the same charges as Iseton.
On Oct. 24, 2017, an officer with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office met with a Lake City Bank representative who wanted to report a home improvement fraud. The representative said an elderly woman, who is a Lake City Bank customer, had written checks for large amounts of money for minor construction to her residence. The checks were written to Melton, Hankey and Iseton.
On Nov. 13, 2017, the officer went to the elderly woman’s residence to speak with her. The woman said that Melton was recently at the residence to replace a garage door opener and charged her $4,600. She provided the officer with two work statements regarding the replacement. The two work statements showed that the woman was charged $8,300 for a garage door opener and the installation of half of a bundle of shingles. The shingles were installed incorrectly and did not overlap on the roof.
The woman showed the officer the replaced garage door opener that Melton installed. According to court documents, the garage door opener sensors were installed incorrectly as one was unattached and laying on a shelf. On Aug. 8, 2017, Melton charged the woman $1,200 for pressure washing her residence. He had her write the check to Iseton. Melton came back to the residence on Aug. 11, 2017, and said the woman still needed to pay him for power washing the residence. The woman paid for the power washing work twice, resulting in a loss of $2,400.
Melton was also supposed to cut two trees and grind both the stumps. In total, he charged the woman $10,144 for the tree work. The woman also said that one of the cut trees fell on the roof and that the men charged her to fix the roof.
The woman provided the officer with a statement that included painting the house. She paid Hankey $3,350 for the paint work. The officer examined the work done and found paint all over the windows, as well as bubbling and streaks on the painted areas.
The total amount paid to Melton, Iseton and Hankey for the work done was $39,244.
Iseton was booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on Sept. 12, with a $10,250 surety and cash bond.