Orange County paving scammer ordered to stop ripping off consumers
Release date: 5/24/2013
Jimmy Stevens has targeted homeowners in Raleigh, Kernersville, Thomasville
Raleigh: An Orange County man is under court order to stop performing driveway paving, Attorney General Roy Cooper said today.
“Paving scammers use the promise of a good deal available now or never to scam homeowners out of thousands of dollars,” Cooper said. “These hit-and-run scammers take consumers’ money, do a shoddy job, and then move on to another town in search of new victims.”
Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard E. Manning, Jr. agreed yesterday with Cooper’s request for a temporary restraining order against Jimmy Stevens of Hillsborough and his various companies including Orange Paving, Ace Paving, Power Black Top Paving, and Big Time Paving. Cooper asked for the order based on four complaints filed with his Consumer Protection Division. He is also seeking a permanent ban against Stevens’ driveway work, civil penalties and refunds for consumers.
Stevens is the fifth paving scammer Cooper’s office has taken to court in recent years. Stevens also faces criminal charges from authorities in Polk County, Florida for fraudulent paving work done in that area.
As alleged in the complaint
, Stevens’ regular practice is to approach homeowners, especially seniors, and offer to pave their driveway at what he claims is a deep discount using leftover materials from a nearby job. He usually starts work before the homeowner ever sees or signs a contract. When the work is done, Stevens tells consumers not to drive on the paving for three days to allow it to harden, and that he’ll come back to check on the job. But the paving material never hardens, Stevens never returns, and before long weeds are growing through the poorly paved driveway.
Victims from Creedmoor, Kernersville and Raleigh who filed affidavits in support of the lawsuit have lost between $1,250 and $7,000 to the scam, and Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division has also heard from victims in Thomasville.
The Attorney General’s Office had previously warned Stevens to start providing written contracts and informing customers about their three-day right to cancel his services, both required by state law, or face action in court.
North Carolina law gives consumers three days to cancel most door-to-door purchases and requires businesses to notify consumers about their right to cancel. Under North Carolina law, consumers can only waive their right to cancel in certain situations, such as an emergency.
Cooper and his Elder Fraud Unit have gone after four other pavers in recent years, Boswell Paving, Platinum Paving, Tommy Clack, and H.A.R.D Top Asphalt Maintenance. Clack is currently under federal indictment for tax fraud and faces extradition from Maryland, where he is currently in jail.
All of these paving scammers operated in a similar way: approaching homeowners door-to-door, quoting a low price upfront and then demanding more money once the job was done, failing to tell consumers about their right to cancel, and performing poor quality work.
“Don’t get steamrolled by a paving scammer,” Cooper said. “Be skeptical of anyone who knocks at your door offering to work on your home, and always check out a company thoroughly and get estimates in writing first.”
To check out a home repair company or file a complaint against one, North Carolina consumers can call1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within state. Consumers can also file a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov
Contact: Noelle Talley, (919) 716-6413