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St. George contractor sentenced to prison for fraud

First Published      Last Updated Oct 07 2013 02:35 pm

A St. George contractor has been sentenced to prison for up to 15 years for keeping nearly $800,000 that was supposed to be used to build homes in St. George and Mesquite.

Aaron David Trent Needham, 45, was convicted in 5th District Court last January of eight counts of communications fraud and one count of pattern of unlawful activity, all second-degree felonies.

Needham was sentenced last Wednesday by 5th District Court Judge A. Lynn Payne, who ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

Payne also fined Needham $4,500 and ordered him to pay $776,783 in restitution, according to the court docket.

According to evidence presented in court by the Utah Attorney General's Office, a developer gave Needham nearly $800,000 to build three homes in St. George and four homes in Mesquite between 2004 and 2005.

Investigators discovered he used the money to pay off subcontractors for earlier work on other homes and for his own personal expenses — including $130,000 to pay the state for fines and a Worker's Compensation judgment.