Searsport man cited for home repair fraud

By Juliette Laaka | Jun 13, 2014

Rockland — A 31-year-old Searsport man, operating a paving company under the name F. Cameron and Son, was cited for five violations, including home repair fraud, said police.

Fred Cameron was investigated and later charged by Rockland Police Detective Russell Thompson June 11 after an advocate for a senior citizen victim, who had work done on her driveway, reported inconsistencies in the contract and in the product.

The five citations are misdemeanor offenses.

Thompson said he cannot say Cameron was targeting senior citizens specifically, but said the three alleged victims approached by Cameron were senior citizens.

Cameron resurfaced two driveways, and did not work on a third, but had priced the work, he said. The work was done on Gay Street and Broadway, said Thompson.

The pricing was inconsistent, and according to Thompson, had no rhyme or reason. Thompson said the pricing was not necessarily unfair, but unusual.

Costs ranged from $1,100 to $1,500, for completed work, but the more expensive bill was for a driveway that was less work than the cheaper priced job, said Thompson.

Cameron, when providing a cost estimate, told one customer if he was to resurface that person's driveway right away, it would cost $1,000, but if the customer waited a period of time, and he had to come back, the price would be $1,800.

Thompson said Cameron is properly licensed to operate a paving company, but is not allowed to go door-to-door and attempt to gain business as he is not licensed to do so. The state requires a separate license to sell a product door to door.

As Cameron is based in Searsport, he is allowed to go around town in that manner and recruit customers, but as none of his business is based out of  Rockland, he is not allowed to do approach customers door-to-door in the city, said Thompson.

State law also requires door-to-door sellers of home repairs to inform potential customers there is a mandatory three-days waiting period before any work can start, and this stipulation must appear on the contract.

Cameron will appear in Sixth District Court July 28.

A message seeking comment from Cameron was not immediately returned.

Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Comments (4)
Posted by: David Taylor | Jun 14, 2014 12:03

This same contractor paved my driveway several years ago and did a terrific job, I doubt that there was any fraud involved here.



Posted by: William Kulbe | Jun 14, 2014 11:02

It seems to me that what was said by the contractor makes sense.If he has his equipment on site and has the time to do the work why not have the customer benefit? Get all the facts before you write an article that seems very slanted to me

 



Posted by: Susan Sinclair | Jun 14, 2014 05:27

....before any work is done, and get those DETAILED signed contracts. I just know so many people who don't demand a signed contract, and are then disappointed, but have no recourse since nothing is in writing.



Posted by: Susan Sinclair | Jun 14, 2014 05:20

I hope this sends a message to all the many "contractors" out there that fraud and manipulation won't be tolerated. A property owner should always get several estimates before any work is fine, and very those DETAILED signed contracts! Too many property owners trust in what's SAID, not what's written.



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Juliette Laaka
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.

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