BREAKING NEWS - Water softener scammer gets two years in prison

Zenobia Road resident Judy Berner, one of several victims in a water softener scam, said she is grateful to see a judge "throw the book' at the culprit with a prison term Thursday. Ryan P. McKinley, 31, of Mansfield, was sentenced to two years in prison for two theft felonies. Starting in June 2004, McKinley checked multiple victims' still functioning water softeners, told the residents the units had malfunctioned and needed replacing.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

Zenobia Road resident Judy Berner, one of several victims in a water softener scam, said she is grateful to see a judge “throw the book” at the culprit with a prison term Thursday.

Ryan P. McKinley, 31, of Mansfield, was sentenced to two years in prison for two theft felonies. Starting in June 2004, McKinley checked multiple victims’ still functioning water softeners, told the residents the units had malfunctioned and needed replacing.

On July 14, he agreed to pay about $16,500 in restitution in exchange for the state dismissing two theft charges.

“He put down $4,000 down and we’re all going to get something pro-rated, but he’ll still have to pay the whole thing,” Berner said.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said he didn’t know the exact number of victims, but his office had five or six listed. He recently received information from Milan Police Chief Jim Ward about another possible victim.

"He's really quite the salesman, he thinks. He hasn't learned anything," Leffler said. "Some of these guys never learn."

Additional coverage will appear in tomorrow's Reflector.