A contractor who was hired to perform work on homes following Superstorm Sandy has been indicted by an Ocean County grand jury for failing to complete work after taking money from 14 families in Brick and Toms River, prosecutors said Friday.
Jamie Lawson, 41, owner of Lawson Renovations, L.L.C., and J & N Construction, allegedly took money from the 14 homeowners in Toms River and Brick, and then did either no work or less than contracted services on their homes. He allegedly used the money for vehicles and personal expenses.
Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Al Della Fave said Lawson moved to New Jersey shortly after Superstorm Sandy and made application to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to be licensed as a Home Improvement Contractor. The state licensed Lawson based upon his “material misrepresentations on the application,” including his failure to disclose criminal convictions in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Shortly thereafter, he began taking contracts to perform Sandy-related renovations, demolitions and new home construction, Della Fave said.
Lawson was indicted on charges of financial facilitation of criminal activity (money laundering) for more than $75,000, six counts of theft by failure to make required disposition for more than $75,000, nine counts of theft by failure to make required disposition for more than $500 and less than $75,000, tampering with public records for submitting a fictitious Home Improvement Contractor Application and one count of unregistered home improvement contracting.
Superior Court Judge Patricia B. Roe set bail at $150,000 and restricted Lawson from engaging in home improvement and building contracts. She also required him to surrender his passport.