STARK COUNTY, Ohio — A pair of shady home improvement contractors were sent to prison for stealing thousands of dollars from families in Stark County.
Shannon Dishong, 43, and Daniel Neil, 42, who owned a company called Choice 1, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of grand theft and two felony theft counts. Dishong was sentenced to five years in prison. Neil was sentenced to four years.
The two men were ordered to repay more than $63,000 to victims, who lived in Louisville, Perry Township, Lawrence Township and Canton.
The Better Business Bureau received six complaints in the last year about Choice 1 before the BBB revoked the company’s accreditation on October 22, 2018. The BBB says there were a “pattern of complaints for this company concerning contract issues. Consumers allege signing a contract and paying money upfront for remodeling/construction/home improvement repairs and the work is either incomplete, shoddy or never started.”
The company was evicted from their office in Canton. It had a Choice 1 sign out front and a woman who answered their calls, which appeared to give the company some credibility, but it was never real.
We reached out to Daniel Neil's attorney, Anthony Koukoutas, who indicated that his client pleaded guilty because 'he wanted to accept responsibility for his actions.' We were unable to reach Dishong's attorney.
"They assured us that it would be the house that we dreamed of," said Katie Motz, who was one of their victims.
Motz and her husband, who are from Canton, paid the contractors $18,000 to do some renovations on their home they purchased in May. They hired Dishong and Neil to restructure the kitchen, extend hardwood flooring, remove a wall and replace it with a support beam and more.
She says she and her husband only purchased their Canton home because of the promise the contractors made that they can handle the renovations. Motz had used the company a month before to do patchwork on her previous home and thought it was a credible business.
The work they started was never finished. The contractors left their home in shambles and stop answering Motz's calls. They left nails sticking out of the floor, while insulation was left falling from the ceiling.
"We were 100 percent living in a construction zone," Motz said. "It was so stressful."
Motz, who later hired a contractor to fix the damage, says it was a tough lesson to learn. She recommends to make sure the company has a business license and even some type of signage on its work vehicles.
The Better Business Bureau recommends doing an extensive research on the company, check online reviews and also seek referrals from family and friends before hiring a contractor.
You can click here to find some additional helpful tips from the the BBB on what you should do before hiring a contractor.