LOGAN — A 54-year-old Davis County man has been sentenced to five days in jail for duping two Cache Valley homeowners out of more than $35,000. Gerald L. Willis was ordered to report to the Cache County Jail on June 4.

Willis was sentenced Wednesday, May 22, in Logan’s 1st District Court. He previously accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to two counts of communications fraud, amended to a class A misdemeanor.

As part of the resolution, Willis agreed to pay back the two victims. Attorneys claim he has already returned more than $17,000.

According to prosecutors, Willis gave bids for two home remodel projects. The bids were accepted and payments made.

The homeowners told Cache County Sheriff’s deputies how Willis started both projects but then failed to finish the jobs. When the victims tried to speak with the defendant, he would ignore their calls, texts, and emails. He went so far as to change his phone numbers and email addresses.

Deputies reported that both homeowners were left with unfinished work that they either had to complete themselves, or contract out to another contractor for more money.

During the investigation, deputies discovered that Willis had done the same thing to multiple homeowners in Weber and Davis counties. No other criminal cases had been filed.

During Wednesday’s court appearance, Cache County Deputy Attorney Griffin Hazard said he was glad to see Willis had started to repay the victims.

Judge Brian Cannell said a crime of this magnitude warranted incarceration. In addition to five days in jail, Willis will also be on probation for 24 months.

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