Buyer Beware

Homestead Builders: Latest Scam by Jeremy Lawson

In 2015, an Iowa judge had ordered Jeremy Lawson to stop taking money up front for construction jobs. The owner of Homestead Builders was taking money for jobs he never completed. 

Also, the judge ordered him to refrain from several other shady practices he had. 

His shady business practices had made the Homestead Builders owner one of the most notorious contractors in Iowa. 

The judgment required the Bloomfield man to pay $102,000 in restitution to numerous victims across Iowa. However, that didn’t stop the Homestead Builders owner as he received 16 additional complaints in the coming years. 

The Iowa Attorney General had received these complaints from his former customers. They had hired him to build houses, pole barns and other buildings in Missouri, Iowa, Tennessee and Illinois. 

His customers estimated that Lawson had caused them losses worth more than $205,000. 

The Drunk Driving Past of the Homestead Builders Owner:

In November 2017, two deputies had chased down Lawson. He was speeding and drunk driving in Davis County. The owner of Homestead Builders had crashed into a stop sign, plowing it into a bridge. 

Then, Lawson had flipped his Chevy Silverado. 

The cops arrested him for the 6th time on charges of felony drunk driving, driving while barred, felony eluding and probation violations. He had refused blood or urine tests. 

2 of the 3 passengers present in his car were taken to the hospital. Furthermore, that chase wasn’t the first time the police chased down Lawson. 

Even with such a criminal past, Jeremy has never spent more than 11 months behind bars in Iowa. Note that the authorities have convicted him for first-degree and second-degree theft, failure to appear, trespassing, eluding law enforcement and driving drunk while barred. 

What the Victims of Homestead Builders Say:

While the authorities only talk about his drunk driving past, the victims of his unethical business practices say he is a bigger criminal. They say Jeremy has a decades-long track record of scamming people who did business with him.

Chad Blish, the general manager of a building supply company in Oklahoma said Jeremy has a pattern of criminal and fraudulent behavior. 

The victims of the Homestead Builders owner say he has scammed people in over 6 states.

Jeremy had to pay Blish more than $142,000 for building supplies but he never did. When Blish complained about it to the Iowa authorities, they said it’s a civil matter. 

Chad believes that when a person intends on defrauding a supplier or customer, it should be considered a criminal case. 

Furthermore, Lawson had earned a credit line with Burrow’s Post Frame Supply by switching up his name. He did this just a month before his OWI arrest in 2018. 

Media found a copy of his credit application showing his Iowa phone number and address. 

Jeremy had listed himself as a principal of Ranch Hand Builders LLC and spelled his last name “Lawmoore”.

Chad points out that the Homestead Builders owner had charged thousands in building supplies in that account then vanished. 

Blush highlighted that his company delivers 700 miles away. They have customers in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. 

Initially, Lawson was paying him slowly. Then, he stopped paying altogether. 

Scamming People with Fake Companies:

In his Burrow’s Post Frame Supply Credit application, Lawson had written the name of a Missouri resident, Harlin Snead. He claimed Harlin was the president of Ranch Hand Builders. 

There was a Facebook page marketing the business and it also mentioned Snead as president. 

When the media reached out to Snead, he said he was only a salesman, not a company official. Snead said that he and Lawson got together while assembling a crew to build pole barns in Missouri. 

At the time, Snead pointed out that he hadn’t seen the Homestead Builders owner for months. Now, Snead has started a similar business named VIctory Post Frame. 

Also, Snead was unaware of Lawson’s track record. He said the customers were calling him and he didn’t understand why.

More Crimes of the Homestead Builders Owner:

A 2014 investigation found that Jeremy Lawson and his brother Marvin had accumulated a ton of criminal convictions, allegations of theft and construction fraud along with civil court judgments in 19 counties in Iowa, 4 in Missouri and 4 in Illinois.

The Illinois authorities had to issue public service announcements about Jeremy. The announcements said he was under criminal investigations for multiple projects he never completed. 

Also, during that period, the current owner Homestead Builders had multiple building companies. None of them had any registration in Iowa. 

Afterwards, his brother was arrested with his wife at their home in Moulton after a probe. 

A big reason why the Lawson brothers didn’t face serious charges was because the allegations of theft and fraud spanned over multiple jurisdictions. 

Note that federal authorities don’t interfere with construction fraud investigations. That’s becuase these offenses fall under state laws in most cases. 

What the Authorities Said:

According to media reports, officials acknowledged that Lawson’s 16 new complaints to the Consumer Protection Division went unnoticed until the media highlighted them. 

An attorney in the same division said that an employee who used to track such cases had left the office. Now, the division is flagging cases electronically. 

The attorney highlighted that they were investigating Lawson for the new violations. However, there is only so much they can do. 

The attorney pointed out that they can ban the Homestead Builders owner from doing construction work in Iowa and fine him for breaking his consent judgment. But in the case of the Oklahoma building supplies provider, he would need to go to civil court as his case doesn’t fall under Iowa’s jurisdiction. 

Many of the latest complaints against Jeremy Lawson involved the partial delivery of labor. County attorneys usually avoid prosecuting such cases. 

The problem with prosecuting construction job scams is it’s extremely difficult to show intent and a pattern and practice using evidence. Such scammers claim they are not skilled at money management and get away with their criminal actions. 

Jeremy Was Scamming People Nebraska Before Launching Homestead Builders:

Before he started Homestead Builders, Jeremy was advertising Ranch Hand Builders in Nebraska through social media. 

The company claimed to honor the tradition that a handshake means something. However, many Nebraskans lost thousands of dollars to these “handshakes”, according to various media reports. 

Lanny, a Nebraska resident, had hired Jeremy to build a $69,000 people building.

The project started in September 2017 and it should have ended by December that year. However, Jeremy and his crew didn’t show up until November. 

Lanny told the media that they have been waiting for the cement since then. 

Another rancher, Shane Wobig said he decided to buy a house and two outbuildings from Snead. 

The project cost was around $300,000.

However, the work was horrible. Jeremy and his crew were extremely slow. In fact, Jeremy only showed up when he wanted money, according to Shane. 

After seeing such abysmal work, Shane had his lawyer draft them a letter saying they either walk away or do everything as per the contract. 

Shane ended up with a half-finished house.

Also, Shane’s lender required Jeremy to produce a lien release from the supplies to confirm they wouldn’t try to get a lien against the property if he didn’t pay for materials. 

It turned out the document was forged. 

The failed project cost Shane an additional $25,000. 

Additional Victims Speak Out:

Chris Caddy, another victim of the Homestead Builders owner, had hired Jeremy to build a pole barn on his land. But Jeremy never delivered the concrete. 

Caddy is out $4,000 and he worries that he trusts too much. He highlighted that if it was more money, he would have gone after those crooks. 

Davis County Sheriff Dave Davis said the new felonies pending against Jeremy might cause him to spend more time behind bars. 

The sheriff had responded when cops tried to pull over a drunk driving Lawson. Dave had to transport the Homestead Builders owner to Story County for another charge.

Apart from Iowa and Nebraska, Jeremy Lawson is wanted in Missouri too. 

What Jeremy is Doing Now: 

Now, Jeremy Lawson has launched Homestead Builders. With this new construction company, he is targeting people in Iowa and Kansas. 

It’s quite suspicious that he has been able to get away with so many construction job scams without facing much punishment. His company claims to be 10-years old but that’s just on paper because his previous venture was Ranch Hand Builders. 

Conclusion: Don’t Trust Homestead Builders!

It’s obvious that Homestead Builders is another sham venture by Jeremy Lawson. The man has already scammed numerous Nebraskans and Iowa residents through unfinished jobs. 

Now, he has launched another construction company to squeeze money out of your wallets. If you’re looking for a construction company, find someone else. Jeremy Lawson is not to be trusted.

2.6Expert Score
A Serial Scammer

Homestead Builders is the latest venture of notorious Iowa-based contractor Jeremy Lawson. He has received convictions for drunk driving, theft, and allegations of construction scams in Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Beware of this scam!

Trust
1.5
Experience
4
Service
3
Ethics
2
Pros
  • None
Cons
  • Serial scammer
  • Received multiple convictions
  • Scammed people in multiple states for years
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