Columbia Contracting Scammers Get Probation

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JEFFERSON CITY- Two Columbia men face a seven year sentence after pleading guilty to felony charges of stealing by deceit and unlawful merchandising practices. Tuesday, KOMU 8 News spoke with Chief Council of the Consumer Protection Division Joe Bindbeutel, for the Missouri Attorney General's Office. Joshua Whitlock and Kendale Williams scammed as much as $25,000 dollars from Missouri consumers with the intention of fraud.

Bindbeutel said they promised contracting jobs and took substantial down payments, but the work was never completed.

Williams and Whitlock were operating in Columbia, Missouri under the business name Select Living Designs. The business was located on 602 N. TradeWinds Parkway.

Bindbeutel says this is a common contracting fraud, and customers should take extra steps to be cautious.

"Always get  multiple estimates. Never go with the first contractor you talk to. Get references. The Attorney General's office can help you with that, the Better Business Bureau can help you with that. The contractor can help you with that. Get references. That can help avoid scams like this," Bindbeutel said.

He also said that the customers affected by the scam will be refunded their money.