AG: Court rules against York-area asphalt contractor
A York County asphalt contractor has been banned from doing paving work for customers in Pennsylvania and has been ordered to pay $75,590 in civil penalties and restitution, according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.
Daniel C. Fry, 28, of 6076 Jennifer Lane in Jackson Township, did business as Fry Asphalt, according to a news release from the attorney general's office.
The AG's Bureau of Consumer Protection has secured a default court-ordered judgment of about $75,590 against Fry, which includes $23,760 in restitution, the release states.
Fry did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. Fry Asphalt's website is no longer working.
The default court order also forbids Fry from being a home-improvement contractor in Pennsylvania and prohibits him from applying for registration under the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (HICPA), according to the release. That means he can no longer do paving work for customers in this state.
The court order is the result of a lawsuit filed against Fry for HICPA violations and violations of the Consumer Protection Law, officials said.
'Shoddy work': The attorney general's office announced in September it had filed legal action against Fry for violations including doing shoddy work and continuing to work as a contractor after his HICPA registration lapsed.
Fry was accused of performing home-improvement services that differed from a written contract without a valid change order, and he also was accused of utilizing contracts that failed to include HICPA-required provisions, according to the attorney general's office website.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection received several consumer complaints concerning Fry and his business practices, including complaints that Fry took payments for work that was never completed, according to the website.
Some of Fry's customers reported that his work was so shoddy another contractor was required to fix what he'd done, the website states.
A website called fryasphaltsucks.com lists what it calls "horror stories" from customers who claim Fry took their money and didn't do agreed-upon work, as well as customers who say the work Fry did complete was of poor quality.
York attorney Heather Reiner said the website is run by one of Fry's former customers who also has launched an anti-Fry Facebook page.
"My client's wife and children are suffering because it," she said.
Reiner said Fry knows he hurt people, regrets his actions and has waived all his court hearings to date so his former customers didn't have to come to court and testify. She represents Fry on his six York County criminal cases, all theft charges related to his former asphalt business.
"He's going to take responsibility and pay restitution and deal with it through the court system — and that's where it needs to be addressed," Reiner said. "He's trying to make this as easy as he can on the people involved."
Fry didn't start his business with the intention of taking money and not doing work, she said, but rather became overwhelmed by personal circumstances she declined to discuss in depth.
Reiner did confirm Fry applied for the county's drug treatment court program but was rejected.
Unrelated action: The Bureau of Consumer Protection has filed a contempt action involving a different York-area home-improvement paving contractor.
Richard T. Wells, who did business as Richard Wells Blacktop Paving and Richard Wells Paving, violated a court order prohibiting him from doing home improvements in Pennsylvania, according to the attorney general's office news release.
Wells also has failed to pay any of the $105,710 he owes in restitution, civil penalties and legal costs, which was court-ordered in response to him doing shoddy work in his paving business, according to the release.
The contempt filing seeks an additional $5,000 penalty against Wells and asks the court to hold him in contempt until he pays, the release states.
Tips for consumers: The Bureau of Consumer Protection urges people seeking home-improvement work to get multiple bids, check contractors' references, ask for referrals from family, friends and neighbors, and consult trade associations and consumer advocacy groups.
The bureau urges people to be wary of contractors going door-to-door, especially asphalt contractors who claim to have "extra asphalt" they can sell at a discounted rate. Asphalt left over from another job likely isn't warm enough to properly pave a driveway, according to the bureau.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.