DAYTON — A Miami Valley fencing contractor accused of leaving customers high and dry after taking deposits is now facing over two dozen criminal charges.
Daryl Fraley, 54, of Germantown, was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury Monday in connection to the operation of his business, Dixie Fence South. He’s now facing 20 counts of theft, one count of theft from an elderly person, and four counts of theft from a protected class victim.
The News Center 7 I-Team first reported on Fraley and complaints against his business over a year ago. Since then, 25 victims from seven Miami Valley counties have been identified, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.
“A total of almost $138,000 was taken from these people. This is simply a case of greed, a greed by one person,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr. said Monday.
Heck said all 25 victims had identical stories. They paid Fraley down payments for a fence he either never built or started, but never finished.
Last November, the I-Team’s lead investigative reporter, John Bedell talked to a Kettering woman who was the first to file a consumer complaint against Fraley with Heck’s office.
Three months later, in February, Heck told the I-Team that his office had found 25 victims in total and his office had an open criminal investigation. Later that month, we showed you the Ohio Attorney General’s Office sued Fraley with a civil lawsuit to get consumers their money back.
>> PREVIOUS REPORT: Area fencing company accused of taking deposit, never starting work
The I-Team has talked to Heck and his investigators for updates on our ongoing investigation. On Monday, he told Bedell that the I-Team’s reporting “hawked this case” and helped bring about Fraley’s indictment.
“I think by seeing your reporting of it and seeing what was going on, and that involved a multitude of people, people were willing to come forward and that’s what we needed. I think it was a catalyst that actually helped us identify victims and also, you know, made it possible for us to get some justice for these victims,” Heck said.
Fraley is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 5.
Monday evening, Fraley’s lawyer on the civil case told Bedell he couldn’t comment on the criminal charges because he doesn’t represent Fraley in the criminal case. He did confirm that they just reached a settlement with the Ohio Attorney’s General’s Office on the civil case. At last check, the office said 21 people had filed complaints in that civil case. Fraley will start making payments by Dec. 1.
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