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Judge gives driveway paving scammer maximum sentence & harsh words

Belmont County - Maison Lovell tricked an elderly Barnesville woman out of thousands of dollars for a driveway paving scam.

So a judge in Belmont County put an end to what he called Lovell's "profession."

And in a rare move, that judge rejected the sentence recommended by attorneys for both sides.

The 82-year-old woman who got scammed wasn't in court.

But the judge read part of her statement.

"He was a smart talker," the judge read. "I felt guilty and ashamed that I had been duped by this young man."

Then the judge read Maison Josh Lovell's prior offenses that include theft.

"This is the defendant's business," said Judge Frank Fregiato of Belmont County Common Pleas Court. "This is his trade. He goes around, talks to older individuals and scams them out of money for a driveway sealing scheme."

Attorneys for both sides had agreed on a recommended sentence--six months of incarceration.

But in a rare move, the judge said no.

"It makes no sense to go half the sentence in this case when he's already been convicted in another court for a similar situation," said Judge Fregiato. "This is his lifestyle. This is his chosen profession! He will not carry on that profession in Belmont County."

Judge Fregiato imposed the maximum sentence--one year, adding this stipulation.

"This defendant is incarcerated for a prior scam," he noted. "My sentence will not start until that sentence is complete. He does not get to double dip on these sentences."

And he must also pay back the woman's $3,200.


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