National News

Oklahoma Man Pleads Not Guilty In Alleged Asphalt Scam

Posted January 11, 2018 4:10 p.m. EST

— An Oklahoma man has pleaded not guilty to swindling thousands of dollars from Goshen residents through a construction scam.

Henry Cooper, of Spiro, Okla., pleaded not guilty in December to five counts of theft of property, a Class C felony.

Goshen police said Cooper, 28, solicited the families last fall for cheap asphalt work on their driveways, but demanded exorbitant payments upon completion.

Cooper initially asked for $12,000, $6,100 and $3,750 from each family, twice settling for slightly less money, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The families balked at the prices, but Cooper threatened to seize their property in lieu of payment or put a lien on their homes, according to the affidavit.

Police said Cooper, who doesn't have a license to do the work he is offering, collected about $20,000 from all three jobs.

Police suspect Cooper has made thousands of dollars through this scam, and authorities say he isn't the only person trying to defraud residents.

Anyone with more information can call Goshen police at 479-443-7171.

Residents can also visit the state licensing board's website or call 501-372-4661 to see if a contractor is licensed to work in Arkansas.

Cooper is free on a $10,800 bond. His trial is set for Feb. 14 in Washington County Circuit Court.

Class C felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000, according to Arkansas Code Annotated 5-4-401.