Contractor indicted for Sandy fraud against 14 Toms River, Brick home owners
An alleged felon, accused of fleecing 14 Superstorm victims who believed he'd repair their homes, heads for possible trial following his December 14 indictment in Ocean County. Investigators suspect that there are more who haven't spoken up.
Jamie Lawson, 41, was placed in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, with bail set at $150,000, on one count of money laundering, 15 theft-related charges, a charge of unregistered home improvement contracting, and a count of tampering with public records, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.
Lawson was also ordered to surrender his passport and to refrain from entering home improvement and building contracts.
Investigators said that Lawson moved to New Jersey in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, and applied for a home improvement contractor license with the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs, omitting mention of criminal convictions in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
After securing the certificate, Lawson established Lawson Renovations L.L.C., trading as J & N Construction. Lawson allegedly entered into contracts with clients in Toms River and Brick for renovations, demolition and construction, accepted payments, and used the money for vehicles and personal expenses while completing little, or no, work.
The money laundering charge and six counts of theft by failure to make required disposition are all categorized as second-degree offenses, each punishable by five to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The investigation remains open. Anyone who suspects fradulent dealings with Lawon or J & N Construciton should speak with Sergeant Mark Malinowski of the Prosecutor's Economic Crime Unit, 732-929-2027, extension 4032.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.