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Seniors, watch out for asphalt scam

Guest Column:

I want to warn readers about an asphalt paving scam. The company is Asphalt Construction with a P.O. Box at Buckeye Lake.

A Mr. B of this company approached my elderly parents on Monday, claiming to have some leftover asphalt from the Ohio 256 resurfacing project at a great price. Instead of the usual $30 per square yard, he would charge just $20 per square yard and labor would be free. He refused to provide a total cost, saying “we won’t know until it is placed.” He pushed my parents for a quick decision telling them that it had to come off the truck soon or it would be wasted.

His crew installed one truckload of asphalt and announced the cost was $3,400! My folks were shocked but were going to pay it because the work had been done, it looked better than the previous gravel and Mr. B seemed like a nice guy.

My wife and I were able to intervene. After Mr. B insisted that he be paid, he left an invoice when my wife said I was calling the sheriff’s office. I later talked with Mr. B’s father who said he would settle for whatever I thought was fair.

I was very disappointed with the workmanship and asked a friend in the business for a professional opinion. He said it was a poor job, noting that a typical residential driveway should have three inches of asphalt. This one had 1.5 – 2 inches. My friend said it would deteriorate quickly.

At this point, I called Lt. Tim Voris of the Fairfield County Sheriff’s office who contacted Dave Kessler of the county prosecutor’s office. The Ohio Attorney General’s office also got involved. Dave suggested I call Mr. B and invite him to meet me at the project site. If Mr. B agreed, Dave said he would be there along with a deputy and a representative of the AG’s office. Mr. B’s father took the bait.

His son showed up for the meeting. After a lengthy interview, Mr. B. was allowed to leave because no money had been paid. He did write another invoice stating nothing was owed!

Mr. Kessler said the B’s have a long history of preying on the elderly. It’s important to be aware of these schemes so you can protect yourself. If this story sounds familiar to you now or in the future, please contact Dave Kessler at the prosecutor’s office (740-652-7744) or Lt. Voris of the sheriff’s office at 740-652-7911. The more information they have about these people, the better chance they have to arrest and charge them.

Seniors, if this happened to you, it is not your fault. You were a victim of a crime. Our ending was a happy one, thank God. Our older generation is very trusting and can fall prey to these predators. Sons and daughters, please tell your elderly parents to consult with you on any major purchases so you can be their caring and loving advocate.

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