Owner of construction company charged after allegedly taking $4,000 and never starting job in Middletown

There are 11 municipal police departments in Butler County.

The owner of a construction company turned himself into Middletown police Monday and was charged with fourth-degree felony theft, according to police.

Michael Allen Botts operates a construction company under the name Lionheart Construction LLC. The Middletown Division of Police received a complaint that on Aug. 14, 2020 Botts charged a Middletown resident $4,000 to start a home repair job.

Botts never started the job, and the homeowner couldn’t get the money back, according to police. Several months later, after failed attempts to get the money back, the homeowner filed a police report.

Police said Botts was uncooperative with the investigation and charges were filed on May 18, 2021. Botts avoided police attempts to serve the warrant until after he was able to pay the victim back, police said.

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Police said they know of at least one other complaint in the area where Botts charged someone for work that was never completed.

If you have had dealings with Botts and Lionheart Construction that you feel may be criminal, you are asked to call Detective French at 513-425-7742.

Police said residents should research contractors before giving them money and be cautious of “red flags.” Lionheart Construction LLC has a D+ score with the Better Business Bureau, police said.

The homeowner reported that Botts had him sign a contract and never gave him a copy of the agreement. Police said Botts also gained the homeowner’s trust by claiming to be of “high moral character.” He has a non-profit in his name, Open Arms Community Church of Hamilton.