Victims of possible paving scams asked to come forward
It can be hard to admit you might have been scammed, but if you think you've been caught up in a paving scam, Investigator Leo Hunter of the New York State Police needs to hear from you.
A family of Gypsies by the last name of Stanley, who have a record of arrests and lawsuits in other jurisdictions, may be operating in the area.
As The Batavian reported yesterday, one Corfu couple complained to the State Police this week about an apparent scam. A man identified as J. Stanley told a couple that he had extra asphalt left over from another job, and that he could pave their driveway for $3,000. But the couple wound up paying $7,500 once the job was completed.
From California to New Hampshire, the Stanleys are accused of tricking residents into paying high prices for shoddy paving jobs.
But proving an actual crime was committed locally could be difficult unless other alleged victims can be found.
The group of workers is described as driving shiny and spotlessly clean bright red trucks.
Hunter said the Stanley's normal mode of operating is to pull up to a house in like-new trucks and talk a good game about an inexpensive paving job. Then when the job is about half way through, start arguing among themselves -- to create an environment of confusion -- with the boss saying it's more work than expected and more asphalt is needed. They threaten to leave, with an incomplete paving job, unless the homeowner agrees to pay more.
According to Hunter, the Office of Homeland Security provided information on the Stanleys. They are believed to operate under a number of business names, including Century Paving and Driveways, Road One Paving, Patriot Paving, Verizon Paving and Premier Paving.
There are pending lawsuits involving the Stanleys in Vermont and Washington, Hunter said.
"They're bilking people out of money to the tune of millions," Hunter said.
One problem that makes them difficult to prosecute, Hunter said, is that just enough of the job is done to make the issue more of a civil matter than a criminal matter.
To contact Investigator Hunter call 344-6200, ext. 6212. If Hunter isn't available, ask for a supervisor.
Google: "Stanley Paving Scams."