July 13, 2018 11:35 PM
The New York attorney general's office is now taking action following a series of exclusive News10NBC investigations.
Alvis Sprague, the home improvement contractor at the center of our investigations, is now being sued by the state AG.
Susan Sipe is one of the victims listed in the NY attorney general's lawsuit against Alvis Sprague.
In the exclusive News10NBC investigation, Sipe revealed she'd paid Sprague almost $17,000. But experts told a News10NBC investigator that Sprague's work was shoddy, substandard and dangerous.
The attorney general’s 33-page lawsuit alleges Sprague and his girlfriend Sarah Crawford defrauded nine victims out of $52,000.
The lawsuit says the two violated state laws when they failed to put the money from customers in an escrow account and gambled with it instead.
According to the documents, Sprague and his girlfriend spent more than $81,000 at casinos in 2017 alone.
The lawsuit also accuses Sprague and Crawford of writing fake reviews on websites like Yellow Pages and Yelp, giving themselves five stars and using aliases like “Allie B.”
This isn’t the first time Alvis Sprague has been accused of this kind of crime.
He’s a six-time felon. He went to prison in 2008 for defrauding his home contracting customers. When he got out of prison, he and his girlfriend started another contracting business called A-S Contracting.
But according to the attorney general, after his prison stint, Al Sprague was not supposed to working as a contractor at all.
News10NBC asked Sprague about that a few months ago during a court hearing. He refused to comment.
“We are dealing with the attorney general's office at this time," Sprague said.
Sprague is indeed dealing with the attorney general's office. He'll have to appear in court in August. The AG is asking for $52,000 in restitution for the victims and another $50,000 in costs and penalties.
But criminal cases in Monroe and Ontario counties could cost Sprague his freedom. This week, an Ontario County grand jury indicted Sprague for grand larceny and a Monroe County grand jury is also considering charges.
News10NBC reached out to Sprague and his lawyer for comment. Neither returned our calls.
Before you hire a home contractor, here’s Deanna’s Do List.
1. Get at least 3 bids.
2. Do a background check, like checking the Better Business Bureau.
3. Ask for proof of insurance.
4. Get a written contract. The Better Contractors Bureau has provided an example of what it should look like.
5. Never pay full price up front. The BBB suggests pay a third up front, a third in the middle, and a third at completion.
Updated: July 13, 2018 11:35 PM
Created: July 13, 2018 07:15 PM
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