Allegan Men Charged With Ripping Off Elderly Homeowner

Two Allegan County men are looking at 20 years in prison for a scheme that ripped off an elderly Holland man of nearly $300,000. The U.S. Attorney in Grand Rapids says 55-year-old James Black and 24-year-old Tyler Harris are charged together in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while Harris also faces a charge of welfare fraud. Authorities say the elderly Holland homeowner hired Harris to do roof repairs, which then ballooned up to $298,000 in costs due to false problems including dangerous working conditions, employee injuries, lawsuits, and tax issues. Harris has been taken into custody and appeared Wednesday before a federal magistrate, while Black’s whereabouts remain unknown. Anyone with information on his location is asked to contact authorities. Anyone who believes they were defrauded by the pair can call the U.S. Attorney’s office in Grand Rapids.