Aliquippa man charged with home improvement scam

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An Aliquippa man was arrested Friday on charges that he bilked a Crescent woman out of $40,000.

Charles E. Hawkins, 46, of Aliquippa who operates C.E. Hawkins Construction is charged with theft by deception; fraudulent business practices and two counts of home improvement fraud.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the victim signed a contract with Mr. Hawkins to build an addition at her home in May 2012 for $84,000, with work to begin within a couple months.

She wrote him a $10,000 check, which was cashed, but heard nothing from Mr. Hawkins for several months. Work finally began in September, and, the complaint said, he told her it would be completed by Thanksgiving.

However, over several weeks, work began and was halted, and the victim's driveway and shed were damaged. Between October and May, she attempted to contact Mr. Hawkins repeatedly by phone call, text and eventually by retaining an attorney, to have her money returned to no avail.

In all she paid him $40,000.

Mr. Hawkins will have a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Mary Murray on Aug. 13.

breaking - region - neigh_west

Paula Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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