Police, city officials and a former employer are warning the public about an alleged scam artist in Council Bluffs. According to the Daily NonPareil, 39-year old James Urso, also known as “James Fetter,” has left a trail of unhappy customers throughout the country, often times taking money up front for work he fails to complete.
James Urso, AKA “James Fetter.”
Officials in Council Bluffs say he’s likely doing the work there, to pay restitution to victims allegedly scammed elsewhere. In April, Ohio’s Attorney General announced the indictment of James Urso on felony theft charges relating to his home improvement businesses.
Urso, of Mt. Gilead, OH, operated companies under the names Help Point Restoration LLC and ZunCare Restoration LLC. The indictment alleges that in 2011 and 2012, Urso took nearly $22,000 from four homeowners for roof replacement and other repairs but failed to perform the work, deliver the materials, or provide a refund.
In December 2012, the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section filed a civil lawsuit against Urso and his companies, for violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. As a result of the lawsuit, Urso was ordered to pay more than $52,800 in consumer restitution and civil penalties to the state of Ohio. On April 29th, a warrant was issued for Urso’s arrest in Ohio. The felony warrant charged him with 5th degree theft and 4th degree Theft/Theft from an Elderly person.
Urso plead guilty to the charges earlier this month. He’s scheduled to appear in an Ohio court on Oct. 2nd for a disposition hearing. He’s also been charged in Kentucky, Colorado and Oklahoma.
Anyone in the area who’s had money stolen by a contractor is asked to call police at (712) 328-5737.