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Contractor admits he swindled couple

LOUISBURG -- A Sampson County contractor pled guilty to swindling a Franklin County couple.

The Youngsville man and woman were apparently the latest in a string of victims that stretched into nine counties, prosecutors said.

On Monday, Philip Brandon Daw, 38, pled guilty to exploiting the trust of an elderly person.

A charge of obtaining property by false pretense was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Daw will not do any jail time as a result of the Franklin County charge, but he is currently pulling jail time on similar charges in eastern North Carolina.

Until Daw Construction LLC surrendered its contractor's license on July 19, 2018, Daw was licensed to do work in Franklin, Cumberland, New Hanover and Columbus counties.

According to published reports, Daw was arrested in April 2018 and July 2018 on charges of obtaining property by false pretenses.

He was also arrested in November 2019 on the same charges.

Financial Crimes Resource Prosecutor Charles Spahos -- who attended the hearing via an Internet video connection -- said Daw was involved in cases that included 11 victims in nine counties.

Daw, himself, took part in the video conference hearing from a jail in Harnett County.

"He's in prison for similar crimes," said his Louisburg attorney, Stacy Thomas.

According to the case file, authorities allege Daw told the Youngsville-area couple that he would build a barn on their property "when, in fact, the defendant and his company, Daw Construction, did not completely build a barn and the defendant had no intention of doing so."

According to the case file, Daw owed the couple $17,250 in restitution for the work he did not perform.

During the proceedings on Monday, Daw's wife had made arrangements to pay $5,000 of that amount.

And Daw, who has some respiratory issues, is trying to secure an earlier release because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're hopeful that with this plea, his future is a little bit brighter," Thompson said.

Superior Court Judge Cindy Sturges sentenced Daw to between 11 and 23 months in prison, but suspended that sentence.

Sturges did sentence Daw to five years probation, to run concurrently with any probation he has from other cases. The length of the probation, Sturges said, was due to the restitution amount owed.


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