PORTLAND, Ore. - They travel through neighborhoods offering you great bargains to pave your driveway or parking areas but beware - these so-called deals can end up costing you a lot of money and headaches.
KATU News caught one illegal paver red-handed - operating without a license, doing substandard work and leaving a trail of victims who lost money and ended up with driveways that are falling apart.
Tom Dunaway, a 38-year county roads veteran, took pictures of the work on his driveway in northeast Portland after he noticed paving crews were doing shoddy work. Dunaway paid $900 for a parking space that he fears will not last.
Across the street, a homeowner showed us a receipt for $500 where he wrote a check to AAA Asphalt's owner, William Stanley.
A few blocks away, Stanley put in a brand new driveway for Jose Delgado.
"He said he had some extra asphalt and he would let it go for $2 a square foot," said Delgado.
Delgado thought it was a steal and was so happy that he videotaped the work. He gave the crew boss, which he identified as William Stanley, $3,000 in cash.
Delgado now knows that he didn't get such a great deal after all. His driveway is breaking apart under his feet.
Down the street, another family paid $400 for rock that Stanley dropped and compacted.
KATU found dozens of paving patches across the same part of Portland, all done by AAA Asphalt and William Stanley - two names that are not new to investigators at the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.
According to Rich Blank, an Enforcement Manager with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board, William Stanley is operating without a state contractor's license.
According to records we uncovered at the contractors board, William Stanley voluntarily surrendered his license in February after investigators found he "engaged in dishonest or fraudulent conduct" and was ordered to repay almost $40,000 to victims.
Blank said he has received 15 complaints about AAA Asphalt in the past month.
KATU went to Stanley's home and office in Boring and when we asked him why he was doing this, he said "I've got to survive." When pressed about the shoddy work he appeared to be doing, he said "I'm doing no substandard work."
Stanley said it is not his fault, that asphalt plants are selling him bad materials and that is why people's driveways are falling apart.
But folks like Jose Delgado say there is no excuse for this type of work.
"I'm pretty upset, you know," he said. "I work hard for my money."
This is not the first time we have found AAA Asphalt in trouble. In November, KATU caught the company illegally dumping asphalt and dirt in Portland's Cully neighborhood.
As for William Stanley with AAA Asphalt, he will have to pay all of his fines and repay his victims before he can get a new license. But he told KATU he is leaving the state. He said he is going back to Boston to do some paving work for family members.
According to the Oregon Construction Contractors Board, paving scams are popping up right now, especially around the Portland metropolitan area. They recommend checking a company's record before you hire them. You can do that online at the Oregon Construction Contractors Board Web site.
Some more tips:
Beware of special deals that are far below the going rate.
Watch out for high pressure salesmen.
Demand a contract, no matter how small the job is.