Westmoreland County Home Contractor Faces Prison Sentence For Defrauding Customers
Now that the fall is ending and the children are back to school, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we don’t have to sit through any more barbecues on people’s backyard decks until next summer. If the party hosts have an in-ground pool, the situation is both better and worse; it is better because nothing alleviates a child’s boredom more than a friend’s swimming pool, but worse because it makes the householder social event problem even worse. The householder social event problem is that, when you visit homeowners at their houses, they will invariably spend the time complaining about home improvement expenses that most of the world, and indeed most of the population of Western Pennsylvania, could never possibly afford. They brag about the high quality of wood on the deck and grump about how much it cost. They grumble about the unkempt appearance of the guys who did the work, as if the homeowners could do the work themselves if they tried. One imagines that these party hosts must be difficult customers indeed, but the law still requires business owners to deal honestly with customers, no matter the circumstances that led to them engaging the services of the business. If home contractors collect payment for a pending project, they must either complete the work or refund the money; if they do not, then they can face charges for home contractor fraud. If you are a home contractor facing legal trouble because customers complained about incomplete work, contact a Pittsburgh white collar crime lawyer.
Home Improvement Fraud in Pennsylvania
Several things can go wrong in a business relationship between a home contractor and a customer. If the contractor takes money from the customer but does not complete the work, he or she can face charges for theft. If the contractor lies to the customer about the cost of materials or about the licenses and qualifications of the company or its employees, the contractor can face charges for fraud. Cases where customers lose large amounts of money as a result of the contractor’s actions can lead to felony charges and prison sentences; and the court may order the contractor to reimburse the customers for the money they lost.
In the News
Jason Pirl worked as a home contractor in Westmoreland, Fayette, and Somerset Counties. Several customers allege that, after collecting payment for repairs he promised to make, Pirl would disappear and stop responding to communications from the customers. By the time of his arrest, he had defrauded at least eight customers, leading them to incur a total of $600,000 in losses. Pirl pleaded guilty, and in August 2023, he received a sentence of five to ten years in prison. He must also pay restitution to the victims.
Contact Gary E. Gerson About Home Improvement Fraud Cases
A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of defrauding customers in your work as a home contractor. Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.