March 05, 2018 08:21 PM
One customer's fight to put a six-time felon back behind bars now spans two counties. After News10NBC began investigating Alvis Sprague, police in Ontario and Monroe counties launched investigations of their own.
Sprague was arrested last week, but now he’s back on the street. He was released on a legal technicality, and his former customers are frustrated.
Sprague came shuffling into court in leg shackles on Monday, defying his lawyer’s orders not to talk to News10 NBC.
"We've been told it's about $13,000 that you owe her,” Dewberry asked Sprague. “Any plans to pay her back?”
“That's being handled through civil court," Sprague answered.
Customer Susan Sipes paid Sprague almost $17,000 to remodel her condo. Experts said his work was substandard and dangerous. When Sprague demanded more money, Sipes called News10 NBC.
Then the Ontario County Sheriff's department launched an investigation of its own.
"With the assistance of the Ontario County DA’s office, we found it was appropriate to charge Mr. Sprague criminally," said Dave Tillman, Undersheriff of the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department.
When asked about the criminal investigation, Sprague answered, “That will be handled today."
Sprague knows the court system well. News10 NBC has learned that Sprague’s criminal history is even more extensive than our initial research first revealed. He’s been arrested 17 times, and has 9 convictions, six of which are felonies.
Three felonies are DWI convictions. Then in 2008 he was convicted of grand larceny and scheme to defraud after he was found to have scammed more than a dozen customers. Then in 2016, he was convicted of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
The attorney general took him to court too, and Sprague was ordered never again to work as a contractor in New York State.
But when he got out of prison - a new business with a new name, A-S Contracting, emerged. Sprague’s girlfriend, Sarah Crawford, is the stated owner.
Crawford lashed out at News10NBC in the hallway outside court saying, “I despise you. You turned this into a f******circus. What's he (Sprague) got to do this? This (A-S Contracting) is my business."
News10NBC wanted to give her an opportunity speak her mind on camera. She refused.
But her live-in boyfriend however was glib. He knew the courts could not hold him without a preliminary hearing, and the Ontario County assistant D.A. says he couldn't hold a hearing because the star witness, Susan Sipes, is currently out of the country.
"Nobody told me that I would need to be a witness,” said Sipes when News10NBC reached her by phone. “Nobody told me that they would need me back there because I would have gotten on a plane immediately."
Al Sprague is out of jail for now. But News10NBC learned his case is far from over. Sprague's freedom may be short-lived. News10NBC has learned Sprague is currently on probation, and his arrest in this case is likely a violation of his probation.
As for this case, the assistant district attorney told News10 NBC he's in talks with Sprague's public defender. Meanwhile, Monroe County investigators have also launched a criminal investigation of Sprague.
Created: March 05, 2018 08:21 PM
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