Message ID: 254105
Posted By: hamjudo2000
Posted On: 2005-04-11 00:04:00
Subject: My personal experience with a scam

My wife and I temporarily lost $9500 to a general contractor who fled the state. He used to do good work. A dozen years ago he built us a fine set of oak stairs at our last house. We didn't recheck his references three years ago. We just signed a contract with him and wrote him a $9500 check for a deposit to put an addition on our new home.

He cashed our check but didn't start working on our house. He fled the state. We were comparatively lucky, another victim had paid him to enlarge her kitchen so she could use all of the appliances from her wheelchair.

He did the demolition work. He increased the costs a bunch of times and delayed the project again and again while he did a token amount of new construction and made her life progressively more miserable.

Because the contractor made two significant mistakes, we eventually got our money back.

Mistake # 1. Bad choice of victims. Dozens of people expended significant effort to help the other victim. This includes the other contractors who completely redid the job for free, the stores who donated the supplies, the township staff that helped with logistics and all the folks who did free legal research on her behalf.

That's something that our ex-contractor has in common with SCOXe. Because of what they did to third parties, many people are willing to help bring them to justice, even people without a direct stake in the proceedings.

Mistake # 2. Once they're under the legal microscope, scammers can't afford to make or have made mistakes with paperwork. Our ex-contractor made a mistake of omission. He failed to renew his contractor's license. That simple missed filing turned "civil" matters into felonies with the potential for jail time. In this case, 2 counts of
Larceny by Conversion - $1,000.00 or more but less than $20,000.00

Once the ex-contractor was found in that other state, the sheriff was sufficiently motivated to offer to pay for extradition.

I sure hope that the ring leaders at SCOXe have made their own paperwork errors, and we can find them, so they too can experience our criminal justice system from the inside.

[Note to Walter. Our "justice" system is way too slow, even when it works. I left out lots of details. This took about three years, and we made many trips to three different court houses.]

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