Felony Warrants issued for Joplin area suspects who charged elderly man $80,000 for tree trimming and painting, detectives estimate cost at $7,000

Joplin News First

Numerous victims have fallen prey to these suspect individuals, are you one of them?

BELLA VISTA, Ark. – The Bella Vista Police Department have filed arrest Felony Arrest Warrants for suspects in the Joplin area related to scamming elderly individuals for home repairs. One resident with dementia gave suspects more than $80,000 for work detectives say should have cost $7,000. 

Felony Warrants have been issued for:
• Adam Houston, 35, of Reeds, Mo.
• Shannon Myers, 43, of Carthage, Mo.
• Makayla Houston, 32, of Jasper, Mo.
• LeRoy Ellis Stark, III, 31, of Pine Bluff, Ark.

Felony Charges for all four suspects are theft of property and which include criminal penalties for the abuse of an endangered or impaired person. 

These four suspects are known for operating deceptive business practices in the four-state area. Several incidents were reported in Bella Vista in June 2021 involving these individuals scamming elderly residents out of money for work done on their homes that was unnecessary or incomplete. In most cases, two of the four would show up to a residence and offer to do work, such as driveway resurfacing, yard work or roof cleaning. The subjects would then either be paid up front and never return or would pretend to perform such work and find other jobs they said needed done, such as chimney cleaning.” — BELLA VISTA PD 

There are numerous victims currently identified. However there could be more who fell for these scammers. All victims at this time are over 70. 

One elderly man with dementia paid these individuals approximately $81,000 for a few trees cut, a small deck painted, and a small amount of concrete work done. Detectives approached reputable contractors to compare costs of these projects that were completed, estimates totaled $7,000,” according to a media release from the city of Bella Vista.

The elderly man’s bank account was negative in the thousands after he made multiple payments to Houston and other suspects.

According to court documents, Houston pleaded guilty in 2019 in Jasper County, Mo. to deceptive business practices. He was ordered to refrain from entering into any contract with elderly individuals. 

If you have any information regarding these individuals, or think you have been a victim, contact Bella Vista Police at 479-855-3771.

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