Couple Arrested in Home Repair Fraud Investigation

(BLUFFTON) –  On February 19th, detectives from the Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Post arrested a man and woman in connection with a fraudulent home repair scam that had been taking place in the Bluffton (Wells County) area.

Austin Boswell

Police arrested 14-year-old Austin Boswell, of Hanceville, Alabama, and 29-year-old Candace Prairie, of Peru, Indiana on felony charges of home improvement fraud and theft. Both are being held in the Wells County Jail.

Candace Prairie

The investigation began when a concerned family member of the victim contacted the Bluffton Police Department after discovering large sums of money transfers out of the victim’s bank account. The investigation found that from January 8th through February 20th the suspects purported to have done work on the victim’s foundation, driveway, roof, and lighting rods that were attached to the house.

The suspects also expanded their scheme by utilizing perpetrators other than just contractors, who presented themselves as State agents and inspectors. Documents were presented to the victim falsely claiming back taxes were due on his property and then attempted to collect payment for the alleged back taxes.

 Although these two alleged suspects were identified, taken into custody, and charged during this investigation, it is believed that there were several other accomplices involved in the fraudulent activities and a strong possibility that other homeowners in the region may have been victimized under similar circumstances.

   If you think that you may have been the victim of a recent home repair fraud in or around the Wells County area, or if you as a caregiver or family member of a person that may have been victimized, you are urged to contact detectives at the Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Post at 260-432-8661. Your information may prove valuable in preventing others from falling prey to these types of scam artists.