Additional do-it-yourself fraud charges against father, son | Local news

Additional charges were filed against a McDonald father and son who run a deck construction company in Washington County.

Alexander Joseph Walker, 64, and his son Matthew Alexander Walker, 29, who own and operate Three Rivers Decks and Porches, are both facing criminal charges in Peters Township. Each was charged with theft and fraudulent business practices on August 20th, sent by subpoena.

According to the criminal complaint, Janine and James Moretti of Snowberry Circle contacted Peters Township Police on August 14th. The complaint said the couple entered into a contract with the Walkers on May 28, 2019 to remove an old deck and have a new one built in their backyard. They paid a $ 1,500 bond that day, understanding that the work would be completed by November.

On December 6, the Morettis Three Rivers Decks and Porches paid an additional $ 6,492 for the new decking material, the complaint said.

“By that date, the material has not been installed and the job has not been completed,” the complaint said.

Staff showed up on December 12 and removed the existing deck, and on January 14, Alexander and Matthew Walker came to the house to measure the deck area, the complaint said. On May 21, Matthew Walker came into the house for the second time to take a measurement.

Between then and early June, workers were able to create some framework, but after June 11, neither the Walkers nor any workers returned to the property or contacted the Morettis, who are requesting a refund of the $ 7,992 they had paid the Walkers .

The charges are similar to the charges made by the North Strabane Township Police on August 17th. That case started in 2017 when Christopher Fontana signed a contract with the Walkers to remove an old deck and build a new one.

Fontana paid them more than $ 17,000 in total, and in June and July the workers removed the old deck and set up the framework for the new one. However, no work was carried out thereafter, according to the complaint, and all attempts by Fontana to contact the Walkers were unsuccessful. Township Code Enforcement officials also informed Fontana that the completed work was not being carried out within building codes, the complaint said.

In this case, Alexander Walker of 135 Fourth St. and Matthew Walker of 340 Valley St., both of McDonald’s, were accused of receiving upfront payment for services they failed to provide and of making a false statement, to reach an agreement home improvement services. They were indicted and released by District Judge Ethan Ward after each posting $ 20,000 on bail.

Additionally, Alexander Walker faced the same two crimes in a case filed in Cecil Township on August 7th. In this case, Alexander Walker is said to have signed a contract with Frank Pollack on August 1, 2019 for a project to replace the veranda in Pollack’s house on Shady Lane. The project should cost $ 20,000 and be completed in about three to four weeks, according to the criminal complaint.

Work started on November 6th and more than half of the cost has been paid. The old porch was torn down and the frame for the new one was built, the complaint said. Work was halted through November 22 after the company raised $ 16,500, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, Walker returned to the residence to work more in January and February, but has not been back since, the complaint said. Pollack told police that every time he tries to contact Walker, he “walks around,” the complaint said.

“To date, the roof over the veranda has not yet been replaced, the railing has not yet been completed, the skirting board around the veranda is still not in place and the planks are still missing,” the complaint said.

Walker was indicted by District Judge Ethan Ward on August 19 in the Cecil case and jailed on a $ 14,000 bond issued by Walker.

Moon Township police said Wednesday they received two complaints about the company in January and are investigating.

Walkers attorney Sean Logue said in an interview Wednesday that his client was struggling to complete the contracted work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government shutdown.

“This is not a classic contractor fraud case where a contractor comes to your home and takes money and hasn’t done a job,” said Logue. “There is no case where my client has accepted money and has not worked at all.”

Logue argued that by the time the pandemic started, these jobs were 50% to 75% complete and the Walkers had to lay off 10 employees.

“These layoffs put a large number of his jobs on hold,” Logue said. “COVID-19 has closed its supply chain as well as its line of credit and revenue for new jobs that will be used to pay current employees.”

According to court records, some of the complainants reported problems with the company before mid-March, when the pandemic began shutting down states across the country.

Logue also said that Alexander Walker is not the owner of the company or an employee, but rather a “volunteer seller.” He is listed as the owner in several criminal complaints.

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