BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A state judge sentenced home improvement contractor Joseph Lloyd of Niagara Falls to serve jail time on weekends, after he pleaded guilty back in February to ripping off three of customers for more than $17,000, though his contracting business, M. Franklin Home Improvements.
Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns ordered weekends so Lloyd can continue working and pay back the three customers. Lloyd was also ordered to pay restitution and got 5 years probation after his jail sentence is up in mid-September.
Jenny White of Blasdell was among the customers who witnessed the proceeding in Burns’ courtroom. Lloyd admitted ripping off White for $13,750, and apologized to her and the two others before sentencing.
White said she is optimistic she will get her money back, “I am praying that I do to offset some of the costs that are associated with it. So hopefully he will get some help and he will be a better person. That is all I can hope for.”
As a condition of his sentence Llloyd agreed to get out business altogether and his attorney told Justice Burns, he now has a full-time job, and has agreed to mental health counseling.
But there is more to Lloyd’s scams including landscaping and snowplow ripoffs. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Lloyd after receiving dozens of consumer complaints which led to a Consent Order that also put Lloyd out of business.
Outside of court Lloyd’s attorney Michael Deal suggested the now ex-contractor’s scams were more about mental health issues than criminal intent, “Proving a lack of criminal intent would have been difficult in this case.”
Deal also chalked up the ripoffs to Lloyd’s poor business acumen, “I think that is certainly one thing that is evident here–he is a terrible businessman.”
In addition to the $18,000 Llloyd was ordered to pay the three customers on the criminal charges filed the Erie County District Attorney, the Attorney General won a separate judgment, the Consent Order, back in February, on behalf of 20 other consumers.
In that case, Lloyd agreed to pay $40,000 in restitution, and another $15,000 in civil penalties.