FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Monday, December 15, 2014
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605)773-3215
Transient Contractors Plead Guilty in Consumer Case
PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that two individuals conducting business in South Dakota as transient contractors have pled to charges for failure to inform buyer of right to cancel and failure to furnish cancellation form. The two companies were operating under the names of Tar & Chip Construction & Paving and Asphalt & Seal Coating & Paving.
“It is unfortunate that individuals come to South Dakota to take unfair advantage of our citizens. They prey upon trusting South Dakotans and affect legitimate businesses. We encourage all consumers to take precautionary steps to ensure they are receiving legitimate goods and services,” said Jackley.
Sylvester Cooper, Sr., 64, Spiro, Oklahoma and Leonard Cooper, 41, Spiro, Oklahoma, both pled to charges for actions that took place in Brule County in the summer of 2012. The charges stemmed from a door-to door scheme where these individuals enticed consumers to purchase their asphalt laying services by telling them they had extra materials they needed to sell and therefore it would be at a good price. However, no nearby job had been performed, the product was not applied as agreed to by the consumer, and it did not perform as promised by contactor. In addition, the contractors did not provide the three-day-right to cancel or the notice of cancelation form, a clear violation of state consumer law.
In exchange for guilty pleas for the misdemeanor charges, paying $70,000 restitution to the victim, and the signing of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) agreeing to not conduct any business under any name in the State of South Dakota for 5 years, the State agreed to dismiss additional charges.