Indiana man wanted in connection with area home improvement scams makes court appearance seven years later | News, Sports, Jobs

A photograph of Elvis Andy Allison issued back in 2016 by the Tama County Sheriff’s Office. While Allison’s whereabouts at the time were unknown, his last known address was Silver Lake, Ind.

TOLEDO — It’s been at least seven years since people in Tama County last heard about a Silver Lake, Ind., resident named Elvis Allison and his alleged home improvement scams on local elderly residents, but it seems movement in the case has finally reignited.

Back in February of 2016, the Tama County Sheriff’s Office – in one of its very first posts on Facebook – informed the public of an investigation the office had been undertaking involving “a group conducting home improvement scams over the last year” in the area. As recently as December of 2015, the Sheriff’s Office stated, the group led by an individual named Elvis Allison had been active in the county.

“The typical target will be elderly persons,” the Facebook posting read. “The ‘services’ provided by this group are typically roofing, lightning rods, and seal coating driveways. Members of this group operate all over the mid-west [sic] but are from Indiana. They have been known to drive pickup trucks with Montana plates and Iowa plates.”

On Aug. 21, Elvis Andy Allison made an initial appearance by an attorney in Tama County District Court on charges related to the alleged scam. Charges included one count of theft in the first degree (Class C felony), one count of theft in the second degree (Class D felony), one count of ongoing criminal conduct-unlawful activity (Class B felony), and two counts of identity theft under $1,000 (aggravated misdemeanor).

Some of the charges were allegedly committed against elderly resident Janet Hicks of rural Montour.

According to the criminal complaint, Allison and other members of his “criminal network,” made contact with Hicks — described at the time by now-retired Tama County Detective Bruce Rhoads as “an elderly woman who lives alone and suffers dementia” — on eight separate dates, defrauding her “by alleging to do work to her residence that did not get done and/or was grossly overcharged.”

Specifically, Hicks wrote over $18,000 in checks to individuals named ‘Michael Shelton,’ ‘Tyson Allison,’ and ‘Joey Iseton.’ Elvis Allison used a false ID representing himself as Michael Shelton to cash some of the checks. The complaint further states that Allison’s whereabouts at the time were unknown, but that he had been using a Davenport, Iowa motel as an address.

Warrants were issued for Allison’s arrest by Tama County on Feb. 10, 2016. At the time, he was also a suspect in a Palo Alto County scam on top of being wanted in other states, per the Tama County Sheriff’s Office.

Bail was set last month for Allison in the amount of $25,000 cash only bond for all three cases collectively. His attorney, Joseph G. Bertogli of Des Moines, posted bond on his behalf on Aug. 7.

Bertogli also entered a plea of not guilty to all charges on behalf of his client on Aug. 21. Allison waived his right to a preliminary hearing during that same court appearance.

When contacted by the T-R on Aug. 23 regarding the lengthy amount of time between the warrant issued for Allison’s arrest and his initial court appearance last month, Tama County Chief Deputy Joe Quandt responded via email: “I am guessing he was able to stay under the radar of law enforcement or did not have contact with law enforcement to get apprehended on the warrants.”

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