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Lexington Police Investigating Home Improvement Schemes

Two residents reported paying for work never completed.

Lexington police are investigating alleged contract and business schemes in town after two residents say they paid for work at their homes that was never started, let alone completed.

Two homeowners, from Earl and Merriam streets, said they paid for the removal of oil tanks from their properties, and neither received the services, said O'Leary told Patch that a state assistant district attorney asked Lexington to conduct an investigation into the alleged contract and business schemes.

There are steps savvy homeowners can take to avoid falling prey to schemes, O'Leary said.

First, “Do not respond to solicitors [you] don’t know,” O'Leary said.

Work with people within the community with established roots and good references, he said, and ask neighbors and friends who they used for similar projects.

O’Leary’s third suggestion is to contact the Better Business Bureau for background information and to find out a company's standing within the community.

The are Larceny by False Pretention reports from the Earl and Merriam streets' residents.

Jeff Chung July 10, 2012 at 05:46 PM
When we had an addition put on our house, we followed those three very good points. We had a Lexington architectural company ,still doing business on Mass. Ave.,to not only design our addition but we paid them more so that they would oversee the contractors work and would sign off on it before we paid him. The architectural co. were the ones that gave us the name of the contractor,saying that they had worked with him for 10 years and that he was trustworthy. To make a long painful story short, he did about two thirds of the work, and then ,without warning, sent us a letter over the weekend stating that he was out of business. He of course didn't answer phone calls, put all of his property in his wife's name,and was nowhere to be found.BUT the real kicker was that he was only paying his subs part of their money, so that he not only owed us a huge amount of money, but he ripped off all of the subs that worked for him who then came to us for payment. Many people don't know that there is a law that allows that.So even though we had daily records of the amounts we were paying him, full amounts to pay his subs, he was only paying them part. Interestingly enough, at the same time, the old Depot building was being worked on by the same contractor. He also ripped them off. -K Chung
Denise J. Dubé July 11, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Jeff and K Chung, I'm so sorry to hear about your experience. Maybe a call to the Better Business Bureau to warn them about this company. You might also call the Lexington Police Department and report this. Thank you for posting and sharing your experience. -- Denise
Jeff Chung July 12, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Thanks Denise, We did that,and I also went to the Lexington Building Dept. to see if they could at least not allow him to work in Lexington ever again, but they were no help at all.This guy started a new company the next day,but since he said his old company was "bankrupt"we couldn't collect from him.We also went to the Lexington newspaper to warn people about how this can happen, but they said "they only take upbeat stories". -K
Denise J. Dubé July 13, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Jeff and K. Chung, Police Capt. Joseph O'Leary suggested getting a lawyer if you spent a large amount of money. That, he said, may be your only answer in this situation. It's unfortunate that you've looked taken all the tradition avenues without relief.

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