NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Fayetteville man has pleaded guilty to his role in a home repair scam that took place in New Hanover and Pender counties.
Christopher Paul Beard, 46, entered pleas of guilty as charged to obtaining property by false pretenses and habitual felon status in New Hanover County Superior Court and guilty to obtaining property by false pretenses in Pender County.
According to the district attorney’s office, Beard took money for home renovations in New Hanover County from the victim who was working out of state with the United States Government. She was called to duty out of state for more than two months while Beard acted like he was renovating her home. She came home to find that her home had been torn apart and damaged. The victim has since sold the home “because of the emotional trauma of his deceit.” Beard also contracted to renovate a home in Pender County and engaged in the same behavior toward the Pender County homeowners. Beard left the home in shambles and failed to complete any repairs.
Beard was on probation for the same offense during the time frame of the commission of these crimes. One of the terms of this probation was to not engage in any construction, contracting, or remodeling. Beard admitted probation violations for convictions in Johnston, Hoke, and Wake counties, his probation was revoked, and he was ordered to serve 11 – 23 months in prison in those cases.
Connie Jordan, the Assistant District Attorney assigned this case said, “Mr. Beard engaged in this behavior after being ordered by a judge to not engage in the business of home renovations. It is usually difficult to prove criminal intent in these situations, but his documented criminal history of taking advantage of unsuspecting homeowners and making off with their money after causing tremendous damage to their homes allowed us to go forward with prosecution. This criminal history also placed him in habitual felon status for enhanced sentencing purposes.”
Judge Phyllis M. Gorham sentenced Beard to 80 – 108 months in prison which will begin at the expiration of his revoked probationary sentence.
He was ordered to pay $14,944.05 in restitution to the New Hanover County victim and he was ordered to pay $12,050.00 in restitution to the Pender County victims.