Utah Attorney General John Swallow announced today that his office has successfully convicted a St. George contractor for pocketing nearly $800,000 that was supposed to be used to build homes in St. George and Mesquite. After a seven day trial, Aaron Needham, 44, was convicted Tuesday of eight second-degree counts of communications fraud and one second-degree felony count of pattern of unlawful activity.
“Mr. Needham had two problems: telling the truth and spending money that did not belong to him,” says Assistant Attorney General Jake Taylor. “He hurt people and jurors saw through his lies and made sure justice was served.”
According to court documents, Needham was given nearly $800,000 from a developer to build three homes in St. George and four homes in Mesquite between 2004 and 2005. Investigators discovered he used the money to pay off subcontractors for work they had done in the past and for his own personal expenses—including $130,000 to pay the state for fines and a Worker’s Compensation judgment.
The case was prosecuted by Taylor and investigated by former A.G. Special Agent Terry Powell, with assistance from the Utah Division of Professional Licensing.
Needham could be ordered to serve one-to-15 years in prison on each of the nine felony counts. He is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m on March 13 before Eighth District Judge A. Lynn Payne in St. George. A jail booking photo of Needham can be found here