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Crime alert: Watch who you hire for summer time repairs

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CORRECTION: In this report Mr. Stevens states that he found both Mr. Stanley and his company had been charged in other states for paving scams. News4Utah has found references only to Mr. Stanley’s activities.

WEST JORDAN, Utah (News4Utah) – A Utah business owner who was almost scammed out of thousands of dollars is warning Utahns to be on the lookout for unlicensed contractors. 

According to John Stevens, the owner of Dunford Bakers in West Jordan, a man named George Stanley walked into his office last month and convinced him to allow his company to repave a portion of his parking lot. Stevens says Stanley claimed to have leftover asphalt from a previous job and would cut him a deal.

“He [Stanley] said it’s normally $3.50 a foot and I can do it for $2.50 a foot,” said Stevens.

After the work was completed, which Stevens says was done poorly, Stevens said he was presented with a $5,000 invoice and was told to write a check directly to George Stanley. Stevens said when he was asked to do that instead of make the check out to Asphalt Roads and Parking Lots, whom Stanley works for, it set off a red flag.

Instead of paying Stanley that day, Stevens says he asked Stanley to come back the next day, under suspicion he was being scammed.

Stevens told News4Utah’s Brittany Johnson that he started looking into Stanley and found that both he and his company had been charged in other states for paving scams.

Stevens contacted the Utah Department of Commerce and brought them up to speed.

The Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing, which operates under the DOC, came out to the Dunford Bakers location the following day. They wanted to be on hand when Stevens gave Stanley the check.

Before Stanley could show up to the location, his co-workers were spotted working on another assignment down the street.

Mark Steinagel, with the Department of Commerce, approached the men and came across Avery Miller. Miller informed Steinagel that he was the owner of Asphalt Roads and Parking Lots.

Steinagel called West Jordan Police and had Miller arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. Miller was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for being an unlicensed contractor. 

Stanley hasn’t been seen since the day he tried to collect the $5,000 from Stevens, but his picture has been shared throughout the state of Utah.

“I have a gal here that works in my office that had been involved in construction and she actually called around to a lot of the paving contractors and sent his picture around and said don’t sell him any material to this gentleman, that he’s out scamming people,” said Stevens.

The Utah Department of Commerce says as we move into summer months Utahns will see more contracting companies. To make sure you’re dealing with a legit contractor make sure you do the following five things:

  • Check that the contractor has a license
  • Ask for references
  • Get a written estimate
  • Make sure the contract you agree to is in writing
  • Don’t fall for pressure tactics

To make sure you are dealing with a licensed contractor, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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