GEORGETOWN, Del.– Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced Thursday that an investigation by his office into a home improvement scam involving a fake religious missionary group has led to criminal charges against a Millsboro woman.
Lana Lee Pierce, 53, was charged May 5 with 12 felony and misdemeanor charges of home improvement fraud, criminal impersonation and identity theft.
According to Biden, Pierce is alleged to have told elderly homeowners that she represented a non-profit religious missionary group called "Serenity Home Group Ministries" that performed home repairs. Payments made for repairs, Pierce is alleged to have told homeowners, would be tax-deductible.
Biden said that the investigation revealed that Pierce actually used the checking account number, address, and federal tax identification number of a legitimate missionary group named "Delaware Bridges," which she was not authorized to represent. The charges allege she used the false identification information to obtain $17,000 worth of lumber and building supplies from Nuttle Lumber and that she failed to pay for those materials.
In addition to three counts of identity theft, Pierce is charged with five counts of home improvement fraud, including three charges involving victims aged 62 or older. Pierce is also charged with three counts of felony theft, and one misdemeanor count of criminal impersonation. She was released on $35,000 secured bond.
Biden said that consumers who believe they have been victimized in this scam are urged to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at 1-800-220-5424.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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