July 1, 2008
Kansas City, Mo. - A Kansas City roofer with a previous conviction of home repair fraud was arrested today by Independence police on new charges filed by Attorney General Jay Nixon. Richard "Gus" Tallen II (DOB - 7-1-73), a.k.a. Joe Carbone, faces seven felony counts of unlawful merchandising practices that allege he took down payments of as much as $5,600 from roofing customers during 2006 and 2007 but did not do the work or provide refunds.
Tallen pled guilty in 1999 in Jackson County on 10 charges of unlawful merchandising practices prosecuted by Nixon for taking thousands of dollars from home repair customers but not doing the work. He fled before sentencing, but was captured in Kansas in 2002. He was sentenced in 2003 to 10 years in prison and ordered to serve 120 days before being placed on probation. He also was ordered to pay restitution of $45,000. The Attorney General's Office also obtained an injunction in 2000 prohibiting him from the roofing business for 10 years.
The current charges allege Tallen, using the business name Allied Roofing and Guttering, misrepresented to consumers that his business would install new roofs on their homes when he did not intend to do so. He also allegedly misrepresented that his business was licensed and insured, and falsely promised to refund consumers' down payments.
At the request of Nixon's office, the Jackson County Circuit Court set a $50,000 cash only bond for Tallen because of his probation status, because Tallen represents a flight risk, and because Tallen allegedly made threats of physical harm to a victim and two of his former employees.
Unlawful merchandising practices is a class D felony under Missouri law, punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine on each count. As in all criminal cases, the charges against the defendant are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.