For Immediate Release
October 7, 2013
A St. George contractor has been ordered to serve up to 15 years in prison for keeping nearly $800,000 that was supposed to be used to build homes in St. George and Mesquite. Aaron Needham, 45, was convicted last January of eight second-degree counts of communications fraud and one second-degree felony count of pattern of unlawful activity.
“This sentence should send a message that contractors who engage in defrauding others will be examined and held accountable,” says Assistant Attorney General Jake Taylor.
Needham was sentenced on October 2 by Fifth District Court Judge A. Lynn Payne. According to evidence presented in court, a developer gave Needham nearly $800,000 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 earlier work on other homes 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 and investigators from the Utah Division of Professional Licensing.
“We very much appreciate the assistance of investigators at the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing,” adds Taylor. “The prison sentence that Needham received is a direct result of their hard work as well as efforts by investigators at the Attorney General’s Office.”
A jail booking photo of Needham is available here http://bit.ly/15hAxpe.