A central Ohio builder of pole barns and garages who was previously sued by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has now been indicted on 51 felony charges by a Delaware County grand jury, Yost announced today.
The charges stem from allegations that Ryan C. Needels of Marion accepted more than $500,000 in payments from 21 customers but never did any of the work he was paid to do.
“This indictment underscores our commitment to protecting Ohio consumers from unscrupulous individuals who exploit their trust,” Yost said. “This guy doesn’t know what an honest day’s work is. He was just out to line his pockets with other people’s money – a scam artist through and through.”
The 51 felony counts include theft, money laundering, telecommunications fraud, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities.
The indictment follows an investigation launched in February 2023 by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and the Economic Crimes Unit in Yost’s Consumer Protection Section after multiple consumers filed complaints about Needels and his business, Clear View Construction.
The investigation revealed that, between June 2021 and October 2022, Needels used social media to attract customers, then coaxed them into paying substantial sums in advance for the construction of pole barns, garages and other home amenities that he never built.
The investigation was prompted by a civil lawsuit filed by Yost in October 2022 against Needels and Clear View. Since the suit filing, additional victims came forward and Needels is now believed to have defrauded Ohioans from nine counties of more than $500,000.
The Attorney General’s Office has been appointed as special prosecutor in this case.
Indictments contain allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proved guilty in a court of law.