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Amherst man charged with tax fraud, harboring undocumented workers

A local contractor who was sentenced to 16 months in prison in 2005 for what prosecutors called one of the largest home-improvement fraud cases in Western New York history is again in trouble with the law.

A federal grand jury Monday returned a 15-count indictment charging Todd A. Cameron, 46, of Amherst, with filing false tax returns, as well as transporting and harboring illegal aliens. Cameron faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on the charges.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Cameron is accused of having failed to accurately report on his tax returns for three years the income generated from his businesses, Buffalo Remodeling & Construction Co. of WNY and Buffalo Roofing Co. Cameron's tax returns said his businesses earned $114,801 in 2013, $42,447 in 2014 and $109,916 in 2015, but the businesses earned substantially more, the indictment alleged.

In addition, between July 2015 and December 2015, Cameron is accused of paying someone to drive six undocumented foreign nationals from Honduras and El Salvador from Maryland to Western New York to work in his roofing business. Cameron paid each worker $150 to $200 a day to repair roofs, according to a complaint filed by the Department of Homeland Security. He also is accused of illegally harboring the six. According to the indictment, Cameron initially paid to have them housed at local hotels and then housed them in a residence owned by his business.

The Department of Homeland Security originally filed a criminal complaint against Cameron in May 2016.

Cameron was arraigned Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and released on bond.

In 2004, then-State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer slapped Cameron with a 33-count indictment charging him with fraud and grand larceny, according to news stories.

Prosecutors in that case accused Cameron of demanding large upfront payments in return for promises to make roofing repairs. Investigators said he took more than $200,000 from nearly 50 people, then either performed little work or no work at all. The victims lived in Buffalo, Amherst, Clarence, Lancaster, the Town of Tonawanda, North Tonawanda and several other localities in Erie and Niagara counties.

In 2011, Cameron told The Buffalo News that he had set up a payment plan to make restitution to those former customers. He also volunteered to install a new roof on a local American Legion post and donated labor and materials when the ABC-TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" came to town in 2009.

Roofer hopes to make amends for fraud with good worksHopes donations help repair his reputation

 

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