Home improvement scheme costs Anderson woman thousand of dollars

ANDERSON — An elderly woman spent more than $7,500 to remove an Ash tree from her yard, yet it is still standing and the man she paid to remove it is charged with home improvement fraud.

Jimmy Lee Moore, 33 of Marion is charged with Level 6 felony home improvement fraud. He appeared in court for his initial hearing on Tuesday.

Moore allegedly had an 89-year-old woman issue checks to several different people in varying amounts as part of a tree removal contract last summer, according to an affidavit of probable cause by Larry Crenshaw with the Anderson Police Department.

"The large tree is still standing, and poses a safety risk to (the woman)," Crenshaw said in the affidavit.

Police said Moore was a former employee of Smoke Valley Tree Service and preformed work at the alleged victim's property on behalf of the company, according to the affidavit. He then entered into a tree removal contract with the woman in July of 2018.

Jeff Hayes, owner of Smoke Valley Tree Service, allegedly fired Moore because of internal thefts, according to the affidavit.

"Hayes says Moore is now posturing as 'his' company, causing complications within his own business," Crenshaw said in the affidavit. "Hayes is aware of all the fraud with his former customers."

Police said Moore did not remove the ash tree from the victim's yard and the tree could potentially fall on her house.

Crenshaw requested a warrant for Moore's arrest which was granted on Oct. 25, 2018, but he was not served with the warrant until July 15, 2019.

This is the third time Moore has been accused of home improvement fraud. He was charged with home improvement fraud by the Elwood Police Department in March of 2016 and July of 2017.

Follow Traci L. Miller @_TraciMiller on Twitter, email her at traci.miller@heraldbulletin.com, or call her at 765-640-4805.