Contractor accused of scamming tornado victims convicted

A contractor accused of taking money from victims of the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes for home repairs but then failing to do the work was convicted earlier this month.

Brandon Valandingham, 36, pleaded no contest to one count of theft and was found guilty Sept. 2, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.

The Dayton Daily News revealed complaints against Valandingham and his company as part of the newspaper’s project walking the path of the EF4 tornado that hit the region on Memorial Day 2019 and investigating obstacles to recovery. Valandingham was arrested on charges in Miami County during the course of the newspaper’s investigation.

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He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 30 and is facing nine to 36 months in prison. He is also eligible for Community Control sanctions.

Valandingham, owner of Buckeye Storm Solutions, was initially indicted on eight counts of theft involving four victims.

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He faced similar charges in Miami County that involved a Piqua home damaged before the tornadoes. Valandingham pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct and was convicted. His 30-day sentence was suspended

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a civil suit again Valandingham and Buckeye Storm Solutions in January claiming he failed to complete work he accepted more for and performed shoddy work.

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“Defendants have refused to refund consumers' deposits or payments despite consumers' requests for refunds,” the complaint read. “After receiving payment, Defendants sometimes began work but failed to complete the work.”

Valandingham’s civil trial is scheduled for Oct. 16.