Roofing contractor enters plea to theft charge involving repair promises after 2019 tornadoes

Roofing contractor enters plea to theft charge involving repair promises after 2019 tornadoes
(risanapong detraphiphat/Moment/Getty Images)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — A roofing contractor and owner of a West Carrollton business, accused of stealing from clients when he failed to repair damage from the 2019 tornadoes, has admitted his crimes and is due in court for sentencing at the end of the month.

Brandon Valandingham, 36, of Buckeye Storm Solutions, entered a plea of no contest Sept. 2 in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to one count of felony theft, according to court record. Four other counts were dismissed in lieu of the plea agreement.

Content Continues Below

As part of the plea agreement, Valandingham agreed to restitution of roughly $25,358 to two couples and two individuals in an effort to repay some of the money he’s accused of stealing.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 30.

Miami Twp. police arrested Valandingham in early February on a theft warrant out of Miami County, after a Piqua customer accused him of taking money and not following through on doing agreed-to work, according to a police report.

The arrest occurred after WHIO-TV and the Dayton Daily News contacted area law enforcement about complaints against Valandingham, who had been sought on an open warrant since October 2019, and two days after reporters attempted to contact him at his home. Seven local homeowners allegedly lost more than $40,000 in total to Buckeye, the newspaper reported according to complaints to the Ohio Attorney General.

Kathy and Larry Borgerding said they paid the first half of an insurance settlement — $7,700 — to repair tornado damage to their Dayton home. Buckeye never showed up, the Borgerdings said, so they paid another contractor out of pocket to do the work.

Fifty-five complaints from Montgomery, Greene and Miami counties have been filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s consumer protection division about home improvement contractors since the May 27, 2019, storm, according to data obtained by the newspaper.

At the time of the newspaper’s report, the attorney general’s office could not say how many of those complaints are related to tornado damage. At least three complaints specifically mentioned the storm and at least two others identified by the newspaper were tied to the tornadoes.

Buckeye Storm Solutions has had seven complaints this year filed with the Ohio Attorney General. Four of these complaints also were forwarded by the state to the Better Business Bureau. The BBB also received two complaints separately and in September revoked the company’s accreditation for not responding to complaints.

The AG’s office sued Valandingham and his company in January, accusing him in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court of failing to deliver goods and services -- including repair and installation of roofs, siding, gutters and in one instance, floors -- within eight weeks.

Valandingham and the company are accused in the civil lawsuit of violating the Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Home Solicitation Sales Act for refusing to refund deposits or payments despite requests, and for failing to inform customers of their rights to cancel the transactions.

The AG is asking the court to fine Valandingham and the company $25,000 for each violation of the CSPA, order actual damages and issue an injunction to stop he and the company from doing business in Ohio until they satisfy all monetary obligations detailed in the lawsuit.

The civil lawsuit is scheduled for trial in October, according to court record.

Tuesday night, WHIO-TV reached out to Valandingham and Dennis Slicer III, who is listed in the court record as defense attorney, without success.