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Attorney General Koster obtains judgment against contractor - KOAM TV 7

Attorney General Koster obtains judgment against contractor

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Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today announced a consent judgment against Clark Baxter of Sustainable Design, Inc. for failing to provide construction materials and home-repair services paid for by victims of the Joplin tornado. Under the order, signed by Jasper County Circuit Court Judge Gayle Crane, Baxter will pay a total of $26,000 in restitution and fines, and will permanently be banned from doing business in the state of Missouri in the future.

According to Koster, two Joplin homeowners paid California businessman Clark Baxter to rebuild their homes after the tornado. Baxter falsely claimed he was an architect and stated he would act as their general contractor. However, Baxter failed to deliver construction materials and stopped working partway through construction, leaving the homeowners with unfinished homes and no additional funds. Baxter admitted that he used the homeowners' funds to make personal purchases, including a trip to Hawaii and lavish meals in California.

Baxter will pay a total of $26,000 in penalties and restitution. A payment of $16,000 already received will be split between Samaritan's Purse and the Catholic Charities of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, which completed the work on the two homes using their own funds and hundreds of volunteers. Baxter will pay an additional $10,000 in penalties to the State through monthly installments.

“It has been more than three years since the devastating Joplin tornado, and we continue to track down those who stole from our fellow Missourians in a time of crisis,” said Koster. “My office will continue the effort to hold those who took advantage of the people of Joplin responsible.”

Any Missouri consumer with information about other contracting scams should contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or file a complaint online at ago.mo.gov.

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