Aliquippa contractor facing home improvement fraud charges
An Aliquippa contractor hired to build an addition onto a Crescent woman's home bilked her of $40,000 and failed to finish the project, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office said Monday.
Charles E. Hawkins, 46, owner of C.E. Hawkins Construction, faces charges of theft and home improvement fraud. He was arraigned Friday before Coraopolis District Judge Mary Murray and released without bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 13.
Detectives with the district attorney's office said the victim signed a contract on May 2, 2012, in which Hawkins agreed to build the addition by late November for about $84,000. The victim wrote Hawkins checks totaling $40,000 over seven months, despite delays and periods when she could not reach Hawkins.
In the interim, Hawkins damaged the vinyl siding on the victim's shed and damaged her driveway with a backhoe, the complaint said.
In late March, the victim hired an attorney directing Hawkins to return to and finish the project and refund her $10,000, the complaint said. On May 21, Hawkins agreed to refund $10,000, but the victim couldn't get in touch with him.
In the meantime, the victim's floor was left exposed to the weather and became encrusted with black mold. The complaint said the floor must be removed and replaced before the project can proceed.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.