Con artists strike again in paving scheme - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Con artists strike again in paving scheme

Lon Klein Lon Klein
Dwight Kealoha Dwight Kealoha

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIALUA, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) - Convicted con artists, arrested in several states in connection with a paving scheme have struck again in Hawaii.

This time, a business on Oahu's North Shore appears to have been swindled.

In November, the state warned people of three related men who offer to pave for a good deal.

But as it turns out, it ends up costing much more and the work often crumbles within weeks.

George Stanley and his cousins Kevin and George Snow have quite a hefty rap sheet in several states.

And a Waialua businessman says he's their latest victim.

"You all can look at me and figure there's the face of stupid because that's how I feel, stupid, I made every decision wrong in dealing with these guys," Haleiwa Surfboard Company owner Lon Klein said.

Klein says Thursday morning, the men offered to fill some potholes in his driveway.

He was told it would cost a couple hundred at most. But a few hours later he was stuck with a bad paving job and a bill that had ballooned to nearly $3,000.

"I don't expect to get my money back, but I'd like to see these guys caught, they've been preying on people like me and probably in worst straights than I am for a long time," Klein said.

In fact, the state caught and fined the trio in November for working without licenses on homes in Kailua and Nuuanu.

The state says the group shows up with what they claim is leftover asphalt from another job, offer a reasonable deal, then charge more than you expect for a job not well done.

Warnings are out for them in California and in Pennsylvania. Authorities there say the three drugged an elderly man and scammed him out of $22,000.

Dwight Kealoha of the Hawaii Better Business Bureau says cases like these aren't rare during tough economic times.

"You would expect that to happen with the economy tightening up the way it is, so from our standpoint, it's really a matter of education, to get people to understand what's happening in our community," Kealoha said.

For Klein, it's a tough lesson that he hopes will educate everyone else.

"Be really careful, you just cant take anything for granted, if I had to do anything again, I wouldn't even entertained having them do anything for me," Klein said.

The state has a few tips to keep you from becoming a victim in these cases. They include, hiring a licensed contractor, being warned of deals that sound too good to be true, paying as you go and getting it in writing. Licensed contractors will provide you with a written contract for work they're going to do.

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