Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Contractor Gets 9 Months To 4 Years For Clipping Homeowner Out Of $5K Advance Payment To Construct Deck, Then Failed To Start Job Or Purchase Building Materials

In Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, Gant Daily reports:
  • A DuBois man accused of not completing a construction job pleaded guilty to theft [] in Clearfield County Court.

    Joshua D. Cribbs, 33, [...], currently an inmate of state prison, pleaded guilty to theft by deception and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds before President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman, who sentenced him to nine months to four years in state prison.
    ***
    According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were contacted by the victim who reported a theft. He stated that he had given $5,000 to Cribbs as an advance payment for a home improvement project in May of 2014.

    Cribbs had signed a contract with the victim to build a deck at his residence in DuBois. The $5,000 advance was to cover building materials and an additional $5,000 would be paid upon completion of the project.

    Cribbs did not do the work or even purchase the building materials, as the victim learned when he contacted several local businesses.

    The victim sent Cribbs several letters and left several phone messages but did not get a response. Eventually he pursued civil action. Cribbs was ordered by District Judge Patrick Ford to pay the victim $5,000 as well as court fees.

    The victim made another agreement with Cribbs allowing him to make payments or do various work at his residence. However Cribbs did neither and discontinued all contact with the victim.

    An officer was able to make contact with Cribbs at his residence and advised him he was pursuing criminal charges. Cribbs stated he was in the process of compensating the victim and planned to complete several projects at his residence. He also claimed he had paid $1,000 to the victim but was unable to provide the officer with a receipt.

    Cribbs became agitated and used several expletives regarding the victim. Cribbs claimed he was told because of the civil judgment that no criminal charges could be filed against him.

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