Oklahoma City, OK- Attorney General John O’Connor has filed additional charges in Oklahoma County against a contractor who received thousands of dollars from Oklahomans in several counties in exchange for construction projects he never completed.
In November 2021, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Unit began investigating a consumer fraud case involving Michael Hanson, 42, doing business as Leaders Construction LLC, after receiving several complaints. As a result of that investigation, Hanson was charged by the Attorney General in the District Court of Oklahoma County with nine counts of Embezzlement and one count of Pattern of Criminal Offenses.
Following the filing of those charges, an additional 12 victims contacted the Attorney General’s Office with complaints similar to those of the first nine victims. Hanson is now charged with 21 counts of Embezzlement and one count of Pattern of Criminal Offense.
“When we see a pattern of criminal behavior, as with this case, there are typically more victims than the ones who first came to us,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “I encourage anyone who falls victim to contractor fraud to contact my office immediately. We will do everything we can to get your money back and prosecute the individuals committing the crimes.”
Investigators allege Hanson used his company, Leaders Construction LLC, to solicit customers, who needed concrete or fencing work. He required partial payments up front. He then refused to complete the projects. He also refused to refund the homeowners’ payments. Authorities say, in all, Hanson stole $140,927.51 from the twenty-one victims.
The investigation uncovered allegations of fraud dating back to April 2021. The Consumer Protection Unit was assisted in its investigation by the Edmond Police Department and the Logan County Sheriff’s Office.
Read the Affidavit of Probable Cause here.
“With the summer construction and storm seasons underway, it is important for consumers to be on guard against scammers and unscrupulous businesses looking to make a quick profit,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “Consumers who are in need of repairs should seek out local companies that are established in the community, get multiple written estimates, carefully check references, and be even more cautious if asked for a substantial up-front payment.”
The Attorney General encourages consumers who believe they have been a victim of contractor fraud to file a complaint by calling the Consumer Protection Unit at 1-833-681-1895.
All persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.