Belmont County Man Pleads Guilty to Phoney Tree-Trimming Scam

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A Belmont County man, already convicted on five counts of theft, has been discovered again running a phony tree-trimming scam.

43-year-old Aaron Riley of Jacobsburg served 220 days of a five year sentence, and was out on community control sanctions, but that’s when the complaints started coming in again.

He was already promising people he’d do tree trimming for them, collecting the money, and never coming back.

So now he’ll have to do the whole five years and more.

The prosecutor says contractor scams are all too common.

“What they do, they get money up front, get money to fund the last job that they did, and then they never come back and do the job. It’s just an unending cycle. So it doesn’t surprise me at all that Mr. Riley has continued to do this type of conduct,” said Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry.

“That’s basically saying I don’t give a damn. I’m going to continue to commit crimes while I’m on felony probation,” said Judge Frank Fregiato.

Riley pleaded guilty Monday to a probation violation.

The judge immediately sent him back to serve the four years he hadn’t completed, and they say new charges will be filed in several weeks.

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