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Storm-Chasing Roofer Sentenced to Prison


(MARYSVILLE, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Union County Prosecuting Attorney David Phillips today announced that a storm-chasing home repair contractor will serve prison time for stealing more than $150,000 from 40 victims throughout central and southwest Ohio.

James Twaddle, of Reynoldsburg, was sentenced today to 59 months (nearly five years) in prison. In December, he pleaded guilty to felony charges of attempted engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, grand theft, and theft from the elderly after running an elaborate home improvement scheme that involved taking homeowners’ insurance checks and providing no services in return.

Twaddle previously was ordered to pay full restitution of $153,127.82, which has been deposited with the Union County Clerk of Courts and will be distributed to victims.

“As a result of this case, victims will receive restitution, and the man who stole thousands from them will serve prison time,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We believe this is a just result. It’s also an example of what can happen when state and local agencies collaborate to hold scam artists accountable.”

This case came to Prosecutor David Phillips’s attention after he spoke to a local group of senior citizens about fraud and scams. “The next day, I received a phone call from a Marysville resident who believed she had been victimized by Mr. Twaddle,” said the prosecutor. “After she called, I asked Marysville Police to investigate her complaint.”

When police finished their investigation and the case would be presented to the Union County Grand Jury, the prosecutor learned the fraud was more widespread than originally known. “In these types of cases there are generally many victims,” Phillips said, “so I checked Attorney General DeWine’s website for other consumer complaints and found many. The next day, I was in touch with Attorney General DeWine’s investigators and we began a joint investigation into Mr. Twaddle’s widespread fraud.”

Between March 2012 and November 2012, James Twaddle operated Restore It USA, which contacted homeowners and offered to repair roof or siding damage caused by storms.

The indictment alleged that, while operating Restore It USA, Twaddle and his employees traveled across Union, Franklin, Coshocton, Hamilton, Licking, Montgomery, Pickaway, and Ross counties to solicit consumers in storm-ravaged areas.

Using sophisticated software, Twaddle and his agents would identify storm damaged areas and approach victims at their homes and encourage them to request insurance funds for a new roof. After receiving the victims’ insurance checks, Twaddle deposited the money, but no one ever returned to the victims’ homes to perform the work promised. Many of the victims were elderly.

Union County Prosecuting Attorney David Phillips appointed attorneys from the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Unit as special prosecutors in the case to join with his office in prosecuting Twaddle.

Attorney General DeWine created the Economic Crimes Unit to identify criminal conduct in consumer fraud cases and to assist Ohio’s prosecuting attorneys in holding scammers criminally accountable. To date, the unit’s investigations have led to 101 convictions.

Consumers whose homes have been affected by a storm should be wary of fly-by-night contractors who travel to storm-ravaged areas. Before entering into a contract with any home improvement business, consumers should:

  • Research a company’s reputation, including checking the Attorney General’s website for consumer complaints. 
  • Be skeptical of door-to-door solicitors who use high-pressure sales tactics. 
  • Get estimates from multiple contractors.
  • Be wary of contractors who ask for large down payments, such as half or more of the total cost.

Consumers who suspect a scam should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or by calling 800-282-0515.


Media Contacts

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Kate Hanson: 614-466-3840

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