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J&J Auto Coudersport
J&J Auto Coudersport

Monday, November 18, 2013

Charges Against James Mills Reinstated By Superior Court After DA Appeals

Charges Against James Mills Reinstated By Superior Court After DA Watson Appeals In Alleged $400,000. Fraud Case

A decision in Potter County Criminal Court by Judge Dalton of Tioga County in March which dismissed charges against a Coudersport contractor charged with defrauding a Galeton woman out of nearly $400,000. has been reversed in Superior Court.

The Potter County Court dismissed the charges against James Ronald Mills, Jr., in an order of March 26, 2013, pursuant to PA Rule 600, which relates to the length of time a defendant can be held without trial.

Potter County District Attorney Andy J. Watson appealed the decision to the PA Superior Court and today received the court decision issued on November 14th by the Superior Court Judges, reversing the lower court decision and remanding the case back to the Potter County Court for further action.

The complete Superior Court decision is posted below, and below that is the original breaking story posted in Solomon's words for the wise on December 8, 2011.

 The original story is posted below:

Coudersport Contractor Stole Nearly $400,000. From Customer

A Coudersport contractor was jailed Wednesday in lieu of $250,000. straight bail after he was arrested by State Police on felony Theft/Fraud charges.

Jim Ronald Mills Jr., 38, of 3343 Alabama Trail, Coudersport, PA, owner and operator of M & M Mechanical, is accused of stealing nearly $400,000.00 over the course of over 2 years from a 75 year old woman who hired him to work on her home on Meeker Hollow Road in Pike Township, Potter County..

Approximately $363,000.00 in cash, and $32,110.00 in other property that included three motor vehicles was taken from Margaret Ann Andrews of Galeton, PA.

In a news release Thursday night, Trooper Glenn C. Drake II, of the PSP Coudersport Station, said the accused Mills was hired as a contractor by Andrews. Over the course of two years working for the victim, Mills prepared work order estimates for jobs to be done at the victim's home.

He started jobs and took payment of advances on the work and did not complete the work.

Mills convinced Andrews to invest in properties in Tioga County that had mineral rights. He bought these properties in his name and did not repay Andrews.

Mills took three motor vehicles from the victim, a 1998 Dodge Truck with a snowplow, a John Deere backhoe, and a Cub Cadet lawnmower. Mills took possession of numerous other items of Andrews' that included a door, a window, a generator, a portable wood saw mill, 2 refrigerators, gas in gas cans, and items not used in her home repairs, but already paid for, such as a 200 amp electrical service with fuses.

Mills was arrested Wednesday on a warrant issued by Magisterial District Judge Delores G. Bristol in District Court 55-4-03. He was arraigned by on-call District Judge Barbara Easton who set bail at $250,000. straight. Mills was unable to post bail and was remanded to the Potter County Jail.

A Search Warrant was issued by Judge Bristol, and served on Mills' home in the Cherry Springs area on Thursday.

Trooper Drake filed the following charges: 5 counts of (F3) Theft; 3 counts of (F3) Theft By Deception; 4 counts (F3) Receiving Stolen Property; 1 count (F3) Deceptive of Fraudulent Business Practices; and 1 count (M2) Criminal Mischief.