MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

January 24, 2013

Building contractor sentenced for fraud

Under plea deal, he’ll spend two years in prison

— A Muskogee man was ordered to spend two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to 13 counts of home repair fraud.

The sentence for Jason Priest, 36, includes 13 years suspended as a result of a plea agreement with the Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit, according to a media release.

Priest was arrested Sept. 18 by Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office investigators.

He owned JMP Buildings and Muskogee Barn Co.

Court documents say Priest would accept down payments for supplies and construction but fail to finish the work. The release says he would build barn frames, receive a second payment, and never return.

The pattern differed in Hughes County, where Priest accepted a down payment and completed a building frame after receiving a $10,200 check. Documents state Priest then received a second check totaling $5,880 in April 2010 and returned to collect a third check totaling $8,650 in May 2010, but never completed the job.

Priest received a $4,318 down payment in Garfield County on Nov. 10, 2010, but never did any of the work.

Court documents show the offenses happened between Oct. 17, 2009, and June 14, 2011.

The offenses occurred in the following counties and involved the following amounts:

• Wagoner County  $4,956.

• Tulsa County $5,502.

• Lincoln County $7,560.

• Caddo County  $6,562.50.

• Canadian County $7,600.

• Pottawatomie County $7,320.

• Hughes County $14,530.

• Pawnee County $7,602.

• Oklahoma County $4,998.

• Garfield County $4,318.

• Payne County $7,000.

• Creek County $4,053.

Priest was ordered to pay more than $82,000 in restitution to the victims.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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