Landscaping scheme bilked elderly women in Tacoma, Puyallup out of thousands

Staff writerSeptember 5, 2013 

He preyed on the elderly, sometimes bilking them of their entire life savings with the promise of yard work he never completed.

Authorities say at least six complaints have been filed against Dayton Dixon, 34, over the years and his behavior “appears to be escalating.” Dixon has a landscaping license but his business account closed in December 2011, according to the state Department of Revenue. The Better Business Bureau shows Dixon has two complaints and sports an “F” rating.

“He routinely under bids a job, takes their money, sometimes asks for more money and often times he does not show up to complete the work at all,” court records state. “This disturbing pattern has resulted in thousands of dollars lost by elderly citizens.”

Pierce County prosecutors have charged Dixon with nine counts of theft and said more charges may be filed. He has not yet been arraigned.

The worst case appears to involve an 86-year-old Tacoma woman who suffers from dementia. Dixon allegedly convinced her to write him checks from 2011 to 2012 for $50,600, which drained her entire savings account.

The victim’s son discovered the problem after taking over his mother’s finances and realizing she had only $1 in her bank account, according to charging papers.

Another victim was a 73-year-old Puyallup woman who told police she was afraid of Dixon but agreed to pay him $17,000 to do yard work.

When he failed to do the work and called the police, court records show Dixon repaid the woman some of the money but kept about $7,000.

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