A Springdale home improvement contractor has been arrested after a family accused him of taking full payment up front for a project he did not complete.
Jason Raymond Mager, 46, of the 400 block of Ridge Avenue, has been charged with two counts of home improvement fraud as well as theft by deception and fraudulent business practices.
Mager was released from the Allegheny County Jail after a Uniontown bonding agency posted $20,000 bond on his behalf. He faces a preliminary hearing before District Judge David Sosovicka on September 26, according to court records.
A police officer wrote in the criminal complaint charging Mager that a property owner said they paid the contractor $3,463 in late April for drainage and fencing work around their property.
Police say Mager violated a state consumer protection law by accepting full payment up front instead of the authorized third party.
The owner told police Mager completed the drainage work in mid-May, but informed them he was awaiting delivery of fencing material so he could complete the project, according to the complaint.
The owners told police that, over a two-week period in July, Mager gave them multiple excuses as to why he couldn’t complete the work, according to the complaint.
In a text message, Mager told them he couldn’t get the fencing equipment because it had been delivered to a deceased friend’s house, according to the complaint.
After repeatedly arranging do-and-not-show work, the owners asked Mager to repay the $1,132 he had charged them for the fence, police said.
The family told police Mager continued to chain them for several weeks after promising to return some of the money and make payments on the balance.
They said he failed to pay even after signing a document they had drawn up in which he agreed to repay the money in two installments by August 15, according to the complaint.
The owners contacted the police on August 30 and provided them with copies of the agreement as well as text messages, bank statements and other documents to support their allegations, according to the complaint.
Before filing the complaint, investigators contacted the state attorney general’s office, which confirmed that Mager was not a registered home improvement contractor, according to the complaint.
According to court records, Mager faces a preliminary hearing Nov. 7 before Sosovicka on a felony charge of robbery by deception filed by the Allegheny Valley Regional Police Department on July 6.
In December 2015, Mager pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property filed by Frazer police and was sentenced to three years probation, according to court records.