Altoona man charged in $7,600 home improvement fraud

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Altoona man is facing charges after reportedly taking $7,600 from a woman to replace her roof but never doing the job.

Altoona police have charged 47-year-old Benjamin Townsend after allegedly taking a $500 cash deposit from an Altoona woman and then cashing a $7,100 check the next morning to replace her roof, only to never do the work, hand over any supplies, or return the money, according to court papers.

Townsend was contracted by a woman in March to repair her roof. He reportedly accepted a cash payment, a check, and a deal for the woman to pay the remainder in payments — totaling $9,200 — the affidavit shows. The woman told police the check was cashed the next day and in April, he claimed he had the supplies he needed.

The woman said months passed without a start date or any other contact from Townsend so she called police.

According to the criminal complaint, police tried to contact Townsend at his number, which was a number for KRT Contracting, but it was disconnected.

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Through the investigation, investigators said that Townsend had agreed to give the woman her money back, but later told the detective he couldn’t come up with the money.

Townsend is now facing a felony charge of accepting money for services and failing to perform.