Elderly women scammed by smooth-talking shyster: Claims
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Dawn Lynch moved to Navarre, Florida, a few years ago, coming from northern Ohio. A couple of words reveal her accent isn’t from the Deep South.
However, Dawn, 76, who has fit into the Panhandle lifestyle quite nicely, is delighted with her modest manufactured home in a 55-plus community.
Her only regret is John Daniel Moore, a handyman who she claims cheated her out of $ 3,400.
“I saved the money to get my floors repaired because some of the spots on them were really soft,” Lynch said.
To save, despite her age, she took a part-time job at Lowe’s.
Having previously used Moore for smaller jobs, he was her go-to guy for the flooring project---or so she thought. She called him a personable and friendly man, but now she thinks of him as a scammer.
“He came and took some carpet out, moved some furniture.”
But that’s where his work stopped, she told News4′s Fact Finder team.
Lynch isn’t the only one who claims Moore duped them. Down the road is Sharon Routledge, who settled in Navarre after bouncing around the country for years.
“A lot of people did trust him here,” and Routledge admits she was one of them.
She claims she gave Moore the $800 he requested to purchase materials for a project at her home, but all she ever saw was a stack of inferior wood and no work.
Routledge and Lynch were unaware of Moore’s past, including dozens of arrests in Alabama.
“Before we concluded our investigation, we were well over $250,000,” Dothan police said of the amount Moore stole from an elderly woman here.
Lieutenant Ronald Hall admits they may never know the total of the alleged heist.
Documents show that he bilked his mother-in-law through various scams. His former wife—the elderly victim’s daughter---in civil filings, also accused Moore of wiping out her bank accounts and maxing out her credit cards.
“A large amount of (stolen) money he spent at a casino in Biloxi, Mississippi,” Hall said.
Records from the Scarlet Pearl casino show over a few months, Moore lost about $350,000 gambling.
However, not everyone has a negative opinion of Moore.
“I don’t feel like this is a person who goes out and exploits little old ladies,” said Joan Buck, who used Moore’s handyman services to repair damage caused by a significant leak in her Florida home.
“I know I’m paying for a small businessman who does multiple jobs,” she told Fact Finders.
While a little slow completing work, she praises Moore for his integrity, saying he finished the project at the price he quoted and did an excellent job at half the price that a more prominent firm quoted.
Moore’s attorney also refutes allegations that he duped anyone.
“After conferring with (Moore), I am convinced that Mr. Moore has not engaged in any scam involving ANY person, and he would vigorously defend any claims alleging otherwise, John Byrd said.
Lynch and Routledge, who give Moore poor reviews, believe they are unlikely to recover their money.
Lynch said she is pondering legal action, but the most challenging part of the ordeal was telling her children about what happened.
“My son was really upset (saying) you really gave him money before he started work,” Lynch said.
Routledge said she plans to drop the issue and move on with life.
News4′ Fact Finders contacted Moore, who said he would consider a comment but has yet to provide one.
An email sent by News4 to his attorney went unanswered.
Court schedulers set Moore’s trial on November 13 in Dothan.
This story was updated to reflect Mr. Byrd’s statement.
Subscribe to our News 4 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning. Get instant notifications on top stories from News 4 by downloading our mobile apps.
Copyright 2023 WTVY. All rights reserved.