DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has announced he is suing a fence builder and his company in Germantown.

According to the release, the company Dixie Fence South and owner, Daryl Fraley, are accused of taking over $100,000 from consumers. In Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, the owner and business have been accused of accepting deposits from consumers for work to be completed.

Fraley and Dixie Fence South are said to have either not provided the goods or services to consumers or when they did show up, completed “shoddy” or incomplete work. Yost says the business practices are considered to violate the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Home Solicitation Sales Act.

The money deposited to the company is said to have been paid to have fence work constructed, the release says.

In the release, it says 21 consumers had filed complaints with Yost’s office about Dixie Fence South, reporting $111,207 in losses. Ohio Attorney General Yost’s lawsuit asks Fraley to be ordered to reimburse the consumers, plus pay civil penalties and court costs.

“This guy has invented his own brand of criminal fencing,” Yost said. “Instead of dealing in stolen goods, he’s stealing money intended for goods and services he’s not providing. That is not how we do business in Ohio.”

Lowering Chances of Fraud Tips:

To lower the chance of becoming a victim of fraud, Yost provided some tips to help yourself be aware and keep yourself safe before you sign a contract for services to improve your home:

Check with the Attorney General’s Office of Better Business Bureau (BBB) for complaints

Verify the contract has a “right-to-cancel” a door-to-door sale, which contractors are normally not allowed to begin once a 3-day “cooling off period” has subsided

Obtain a written estimate from multiple different contractors before deciding on a company

Make sure the written contract has any verbal promises, start and end date, and an itemized list of all major costs, like the costs, labor and services made by the contractor

Use caution in the case of a contractor requiring a large down payment or writing a check to the owner, instead of to the company

Contact the Ohio Secretary of State’s office to see if the business has been correctly registered

If you suspect an unfair or deceptive business practice from a business, you are encouraged to contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 1 (800) 282-0515 or visit the website.