Paving Problems: Richmond Company Loses Thousands of Dollars

Posted at 8:33 AM, Dec 07, 2011
and last updated 2011-12-07 08:33:57-05

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) - The Better Business Bureau sent out an alleged scammer alert warning about a great offer to pave your driveway.

Avrum Elmakis runs the business out of his Admiral Street office. His workers focus on shipping out online orders of pet treats and supplies by the thousands each day.

A guy who recently walked into the office appeared, on the surface, to be part of a city road paving work crew.

He offered Elmakis a great deal on paving, and said that the asphalt was leftover from a city work job. The guy identified himself as George Stanley, and he offered to pave the property for $2500.

The crew showed up and paved a small section and then demanded $25,000—and said there must have been a misunderstanding.

Elmakis checked the rate against other quotes and found it to be competitive. He gave the guy $12,500 upfront.

Then a city contractor came over and let Elmakis know that the group is not affiliated with the city.

At that point Elmakis had dropped more than $12,000, but the alleged scam artists had only dropped about $500 of asphalt.

Elmakis confronted the workers and held their equipment hostage.

The alleged scammers then refunded about $5,000. Elmakis called the police and then called in a legit company.

The company he hired to fix the problem told him not to deal with anyone named Stanley, which Elmakis said “set off bells.”

Elmakis said the man never produced a valid contractor's license. When he ran an online search--as we did--they found a man with the same name was arrested and convicted of similar crimes in California and Pennsylvania.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs detailed that he was arrested for ripping dozens off for more than a total of half a million dollars.

The BBB and Elmakis just want others to beware of scammers like Stanley.