A retired Elmore couple claims a man hired to perform odd jobs around their property stole several thousand dollars from them.

According to Vermont State Police, the couple hired Raymond Earle, 44, of Eden to help them with plowing, tree removal, excavating and furniture-moving, jobs they weren’t able to do themselves.

The wife told police that, “after he had earned our trust,” Earle began to ask for advance payment, saying things had gotten tough for him. The couple said they also loaned Earle a “significant amount of money.”

In 2017, the couple said, they prepaid Earle $3,000 for materials and labor for a project at their home and loaned him $2,200 so he could buy a used excavator he said he needed for a job there.

They also said they gave him a $1,000 personal loan.

The wife said she and her husband gave Earle $7,545 without receiving service or compensation. Last December, she won a small claims judgment against him for $5,178. She says Earle ignored the civil action.

Earle pleaded not guilty last week in Lamoille County Superior Court to felony charges of home improvement fraud and false pretenses or tokens.

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