Kokomo man arrested for targeting senior citizens in home improvement fraud scheme

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KOKOMO, Ind. — A Kokomo man is arrested for targeting senior citizens in a home improvement fraud scheme. Dennis Sanders is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from victims.

One victim is a man who has lung cancer. He told police he lost $48,000.  Another victim is a 74-year-old great-grandmother.

“He took me big time,” said Sue, a fraud victim.

The victims told police they had contracts with Sanders.  He was supposed to do construction projects around their homes. The victims reported he never finished the jobs, but he did take their money.

Sue asked FOX59  to not show her face, but she had no problem telling us about her encounters with Sanders.

“Man, he is smooth. (He) calls you and tells you all kinds of excuses and everything, I thought he was ok, but I got took,” said Sue.

Investigators believe Sanders has been doing this for years.  So far, they’ve tracked down three victims and have received at least a dozen other calls.  All the potential victims are in their 70s.

“He would come, do a contract with them and continuously ask them for money. He always needed more money to do these jobs and needed more money for more material,” said Michael Banush, a detective with the Kokomo Police Department.

According to court records, Sanders even told the 76-year-old victim he couldn’t afford medicine for his wife.  The victim allegedly gave Sanders a check to help.  Detective Banush says Sanders’ story about his wife was a lie.

“He was doing everything he could to get money from him,” said Detective Banush.

Sue is convinced she’ll never get her money back, but to her what matters more is that no one else falls for this.

“I hate to see anybody in jail, but he deserves to be punished someway or other,” said Sue.

If you think you’re a victim or if you know someone else who may be, call Kokomo Police at 765-456-7278.

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