Superstorm Sandy contractor gets 10-year prison term

Jamie Lawson. (Image courtesy of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

Jamie Lawson. (Image courtesy of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

A contractor convicted of scamming dozens of New Jersey homeowners out of nearly $2 million following Superstorm Sandy has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison.

Jamie Lawson must also pay $1,860,981 in restitution under the sentence imposed Friday in the Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River.

Many of his victims appeared in court during his sentencing and spoke about the damage he did to their lives.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” Allison Bindell of Toms River said, as reported by the Asbury Park Press. “I hope this is the last time I have to lay my eyes on you because you’re a real piece of crap.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Lawson had pleaded guilty last October to money laundering and theft charges. But his sentencing had been postponed numerous times since then as he contemplated taking back his guilty plea.

Ocean County prosecutors say the 43-year-old Brick resident moved to New Jersey shortly after Sandy hammered the state in 2012 and became a licensed home improvement contractor.

Lawson failed to disclose criminal convictions in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, prosecutors previously said.

He soon contracted with dozens of homeowners in Monmouth and Ocean counties whose residences were damaged by the storm, then either did little work or none at all.

In 2017, authorities launched a multi-state search for Lawson following his December 2016 indictment. He spent six months as a fugitive before being captured in South Carolina by U.S. Marshals in June 2017.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal