12 ON YOUR SIDE: Contractor partially refunds alleged victim

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A contractor accused of accepting down payments for work he did not perform is returning some of the money.

12 On Your Side has confirmed that Mark Howard Johnson has given back $3,000 to at least one of his alleged victims - but that move will not take investigators off his case.

Henrico Police and the Virginia Board of Contractors are also after Johnson. The regulatory agency has three complaints and says the class C home improvement contractor isn't answering its investigators - maybe because he's starting to pay up.

A screen grab of Mark Johnson's Facebook page, soon after it went back up, shows the home improvement contractor and his girlfriend, happy at a Marina and posing for glam party shots - a subtle sign maybe that Johnson is active again, after an unhappy customer got a certified check in the mail for $3,089.00, marked refund from C.C.W.

The Clear Choice Windows customer talked with me only over the phone. He's working with Henrico Police and has a civil court date later this month. The check, he says, is short and doesn't repay his loss.

I went to Johnson's girlfriend's Henrico Home, where sources say Johnson lives and where the warrant for him was served.

He won't answer my numerous calls, messages, emails since last December - not even my handwritten note recently left at his mom's home in Mineral, Virginia.

The State Regulatory Agency is getting ignored too, and it says failure to respond to an investigator is a violation.

The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation is keeping quiet about three complaints it has, until the investigation is finished, but says allege victims can rest assured the investigation will run its course, despite checks in the mail.

"Returning the money doesn't stop our investigation," said DPOR Communications Director Mary Broz Vaughan. "They're going to look at mitigating circumstances. But, they're also going to look at things like, okay, you're returning the money just to save your skin right now. Again, everything is based on the facts and the record, there's nothing arbitrary."

DPOR says Johnson has no prior complaints under the company Clear Choice - Richmond, Inc.

I also reached out to Johnson's girlfriend, Charlotte Barnes, by phone. She hasn't responded.

The warrant in debt is set for Henrico General District Court, March 29. We'll be there if he shows up.

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