Boardman man gets probation in fraud case

Staff report


A 57-year-old Boardman man has been sentenced to three years’ probation in the staged crash of a truck into a flower shop for purposes of insurance fraud.

Paul J. Amon, who will be on electronically monitored house arrest for the first nine months of his probation, drew the sentence Tuesday from U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent.

Amon was the last of four defendants to be sentenced in the case, in which a truck was driven into the Mum’s the Word floral shop on Lockwood Boulevard in Boardman on Jan. 27, 2010.

The three other defendants also were put on various lengths of probation and electronically monitored house arrest.

They are Paul Amon’s brother, Joseph P. Amon, 64, of Canfield; James J. Landis, 56, of Canfield, who owned the shop; and Thomas V. Franco, 39, of Campbell, who purposely drove the truck through the front of the store while it was closed and nobody was inside.

All four pleaded guilty to insurance-fraud conspiracy in the scheme, in which Judge Nugent ordered the defendants to jointly make $99,851 in combined restitution to three insurance companies.

According to the indictment, Landis told Joseph Amon about the shop’s financial difficulties. About a week later, Paul Amon, Franco and Landis agreed Franco would drive the truck into the shop and pretend it was an accident.

Paul Amon, who was a special deputy for the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office in the early 1980s, was sentenced to four years in federal prison in 1987 for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

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