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Marshfield contractor pleads guilty to defrauding homeowner

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The owner of Marshfield Landscaping and Fence LLC pleaded guilty this week to unlawful merchandising practices, according to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office.

James Butts, 31, admitted he did not perform contracted work for a homeowner in Pulaski County despite being paid $9,762, according to the release.

Marshfield Landscaping and Fence had been hired to order privacy fence materials and install them for the homeowner.

Butts agreed to pay $15,000 in restitution to the homeowner, as well as a separate homeowner who was not part of the guilty plea but was a victim of alleged fraud by Butts and his company, according to the March 25 release.

“Hiring a contractor and paying for construction can be a tricky process for homeowners, and scammers are continually looking for ways to take advantage of that confusion. That’s unacceptable,” Schmitt said in the release. “My office always stands prepared to hold those who prey on Missouri homeowners accountable.”

The case was prosecuted by Jake Aubuchon and Amy Davis, assistant attorneys general, and investigated by Margie Colon in Schmitt’s office.

A call to Marshfield Landscaping and Fence went unanswered this morning. The company was registered in January 2015 with the Missouri secretary of state.

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