2 jailed after 2 years on the run in $80,000 home repair fraud on elderly Vestavia Hills woman

Victoria Anthony and Billy Joe-Willis


A man and a woman are in custody, accused of bilking an elderly Vestavia Hills woman out of $80,000 in a fraudulent home repair scheme.

Victoria Heath Anthony, 52, was booked into the Jefferson County Jail on Saturday and remains held on $80,000 bond, jail records show. Billy Joe Willis, 49, was arrested Friday and is in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a similar warrant there.

Vestavia Hills police first announced charges against the pair, as well as two others, in 2016. "They've been at large this whole time,'' said Vestavia Hills police Lt. Steve Gurley.

The investigation was carried out by the Jefferson County Regional Financial Crimes Task Force, which is made up of investigators from the U.S. Secret Service, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Homewood and Birmingham police and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office.

According to court records made public Tuesday, Anthony was indicted on Aug. 25, 2017 on a charge of first-degree financial elder abuse. The victim in the case is an 83-year-old woman.

According to authorities, Anthony and the others were hired by the victim to do about $1,500 in unspecified repairs to her home. Gurley said they determined the woman's vulnerability and continuously told her she had not yet paid them, when in fact she already had. In all, the victim ended up writing them multiple checks from her account that totaled about $80,000.

Regions Bank corporate security officers first noticed the suspicious activity on her account and notified the task force about possible wrongdoing.

Court records aren't available for Willis in the Vestavia case, but police said he, too, was indicted.

Willis is also charged in Tuscaloosa County on a 2012 indictment for home repair fraud. Gurley said two other suspects - Joshua Wills and Richard Howell Williams - remain at large.


Article From:- https://www.al.com

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