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Attorney General Conway announces guilty plea by fraudulent contractor

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 FRANKFORT - Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Consumer Protection today announced that a contractor accused of failing to perform repair services for a Louisville resident, despite being paid to do so, has pleaded guilty to one count of theft by deception over $10.000, a class C felony.

Danny Smith, 50, entered the plea this morning in Jefferson Circuit Court.  Prosecutors recommended a five-year probated prison sentence on the condition that Smith repays $12,000 in restitution to the victim.  Formal sentencing for Smith is scheduled for Aug. 26.

In October 2012, Smith entered into a contract with the victim to replace the roof and brick on the victim’s Louisville home.  Smith advised the victim that he needed money upfront to buy materials to complete the work.  However, after the victim paid, Smith never returned to complete the work.

“I want to ensure that all Kentuckians are vigilant of home-improvement and storm-repair scams, especially during the spring and summer months,” General Conway said.  “Fly-by-night contractors, just like Mr. Smith, will often hit an area, take the money, and run.  I always encourage consumers in need of cleanup or repair services to never pay the full amount to a contractor before the work is completed.”

Additionally, Attorney General Conway encourages consumers needing storm repair work or cleanup services to follow these important tips:

·         Use local, reputable contractors for repairs, if possible.  If local contractors bring in out-of-town workers, ask who will be responsible for their work if it is not satisfactory.

·         Ask if the contractor is licensed, bonded (if required by the city or county), and insured.

·         Check unknown companies out with the Better Business Bureau or call the Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection to see if information is available about the company.

·         Demand a written contract.  If possible, get estimates from several contractors.

·         Be suspicious of unfamiliar, out-of-state vehicles and those who offer repair work at unreasonably low prices.  Contact local law enforcement about your suspicions.

For additional information or to file a consumer protection complaint, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257 or visitwww.ag.ky.gov.