Two Men Accused Of Scamming Elderly Woman More Than $5,000 - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Two Men Accused Of Scamming Elderly Woman More Than $5,000

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by Adam Ghassemi

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – Two men have been accused of scamming a Sumner County elderly woman for more than $5,000.

Nineteen-year-old Henry Cooper of Antioch was led away in handcuffs after questioning Thursday. He faces theft and aggravated burglary charges for scamming a woman out of thousands.

Hendersonville Police said he and his cousin, 28-year-old George Lee Jr., ran a home repair scam and pressured an elderly woman to let them paint her roof's exhaust pipes.

"They went up there with a can of paint, painted them in a couple of minutes and then told the victim that she owed them well over $1,000," said Detective Neal Harris.

Harris said even though the woman felt like she was being scammed, and told the pair to never come return they did at least two more times since July 2012 to say their bogus paint job had to be reapplied when she wasn't home.

"It was cracking. It needed to be redone so we went ahead and threw some more paint on there and now you owe us another $2,500," Harris recalled what she was told.

The victim asked that her identity be withheld. Investigators said Cooper and Lee got more than $5,000 from her.

"They verbally pressured her to where she felt like she had no choice. She was afraid of these people and what they might do so she went ahead and paid the money," Harris said.

Hendersonville Police warned scam artists, like Cooper and Lee, find victims by driving around neighborhoods and targeting elderly people who are often too ashamed to report what's happening.

The only reason this victim came forward is because a bank teller noticed her repeated large checks for repairs.

"It would not have been reported if it wasn't for the teller urging the victim to make the report," Harris said.

That's why detectives want Lee in custody as well as they wonder how many more people they ripped off.

People with information about Lee's whereabouts or other victims should call Hendersonville Police at (615) 822-1111.

Anonymous tips that may be eligible for a reward can be submitted to Crime Stoppers by calling (615) 573-5400, or texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) using keyword "TIPHPD".  Anonymous tips may also be submitted online at www.crimereports.com.

Cooper is being held in lieu of a $100,000 dollar bond. He's scheduled to appear in Sumner County court next month.

Email: aghassemi@newschannel5.com
Facebook: NC5_AdamGhassemi
Twitter: @NC5_AGhassemi

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