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Deputies: Businessman’s girlfriend swindled money from customer

Lavoie

Lavoie


By DAN HILDEBRAN

Monitor Editor

Clay County deputies arrested a McRae woman, claiming she went through her boyfriend’s customer list and defrauded at least one of them.

Deputies arrested Andrea Lavoie, 28, for communications fraud on May 13.

The charges against Lavoie are not proven and she is presumed innocent until adjudicated guilty by a court.

According to court papers, a Clay County property owner received a phone call from Lavoie on March 9.  She told the victim she represented the Expert Tree Co. and asked the victim if he needed any tree work done on his property.

The victim did need tree work and had used Expert Tree Co. before.  He was also familiar with the owner of the business, Richard Jason Johns and with the owner’s girlfriend, Lavioe.

The victim told an investigator that after Lavoie completed an estimate for the work, she asked him for a $300 deposit.  The property owner said that after he gave Lavoie the money, she left and never returned.

The victim said he called Lavoie several times and asked to speak directly with Johns.  However, Lavoie told the victim that Johns was unavailable.  Several times she told him Johns was in a tree.

During the investigation deputies discovered that Johns had been incarcerated in the Clay County Jail since March 1. An investigator wrote in a report that Johns said he never authorized Lavoie  to contact his customers or perform any work on behalf of his company.

“The defendant was clearly using Mr. Johns’ contacts and business name to gain the victim’s trust and solicit money for work she could not provide,” wrote the  investigator.

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