2 indicted for $4K scam of elderly woman

By Kayleigh Zyskowski Published:

Two Franklin County men have been indicted for scamming an elderly woman for work on her house, a prosecutor says.

Joseph Lewis, 28, and Antone Miller, 42, were charged after they exploited Martha Guthrie, of Frankfort, by requesting around $4,000 for work on her house in late September, says Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland.

“This stuff is something that happens in the spring and the fall of the year,” Cleveland said.

Lewis and Miller went to Guthrie, who is in her 90s and living alone, and claimed to have done repair work on her house, he said.

They said they power-washed the bricks on the house, worked on the roof and sealed the driveway, “and work of that nature,” Cleveland said.

“They kept billing her for it and kept telling her they did this work and she owed them this money, and they wouldn’t leave until she paid them,” Cleveland said.

She wrote them several checks amounting to about $4,000.

“Then, of course, the elderly people don’t want to admit they have been scammed,” he said.

 “They want to continue to live alone, and they don’t want to tell a relative that this happened to them, because they are fearful their power to make financial decisions on their own will be taken away from them or they will be put into a nursing home.”

When she didn’t admit to being scammed, her bank saw these checks going through her checking account, and contacted the police, Cleveland said.

The men are charged with exploiting an adult person of more than $300, and Lewis has also been charged as a persistent felony offender.

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