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Paint Used as Sealer Exposes Scheme

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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A man posing as a contractor took advantage of a Bowie, MD, resident by using paint to “seal” her driveway and charging her thousands for the job.

After paying $2,450 for an on-the-fly sealing project, the homeowner reportedly discovered that the surface treatment was nothing but a coating of black paint, the Prince George's County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

After being alerted to the scheme, Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Spanky Frank, also of Bowie, on a warrant obtained by the City of Bowie Police for theft of $1,000 to under $10,000.  

Spanky Frank
Prince George's County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Spanky Frank, of Bowie, MD, after he reportedly charged a woman $2,450 to seal a driveway; it was later discovered he had only spray painted it black.

Frank was also charged with acting as a contractor without a license, failure to perform contract, and selling home improvement without a license, the office said.

Unsolicited Work Offer

According to the Sherriff’s Office, Frank approached a Bowie resident Aug. 2 and offered to seal and resurface her driveway for a $40 fee.

After claiming to have finished coating the driveway, Frank asked the homeowner to pay $1,000 for the job. She agreed, indicating that “Frank’s demeanor caused her to be fearful,” the office noted.

After receiving the $1,000 payment, Frank said he needed another $1,450, which the resident paid with two personal checks.

When she later inspected Frank’s work, she discovered the driveway had not been sealed at all but instead had been spray painted black.

An inquiry to the Maryland Home Improvement Commission and the Maryland Department of Taxation revealed that Frank was not licensed to do home improvement work in the state of Maryland, sheriff’s officials said.

seal coating
© iStock.com / emholk

Frank was arrested on similar charges in Howard County, MD, in 2015 when he and his father were accused of applying a black paint and gasoline mixture (not shown) to four driveways to seal cracks.

On Aug. 12 sheriff’s deputies received a warrant for Frank. He was later located in Jessup, MD, where he was advised of the warrant, taken into custody without incident and transported to the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections.

Not a First Offense

Frank and his father, Paul, had been arrested for operating a similar scam in March 2015 in Howard County, MD, the Baltimore Fox affiliate reported.

According to reports at the time, the father-and-son team was charged with four counts of illegally selling home improvements without a license and acting as a contractor without a license. A third man, Ace Frank, was also said to be involved.

The men reportedly approached four homeowners in the county and offered their driveway resealing services.

An investigation determined that the men would buy what appeared to be black paint, add gasoline to it and apply the concoction as a resealer to fill driveway cracks.

As in the Bowie case, in all four of the 2015 instances, the men charged a higher fee than agreed upon with the homeowner in advance.

“They provided no receipts and the quality of work was poor,” Fox 45 reported.

   

Tagged categories: Coatings; Criminal acts; Fraud; Sealant; Sealers

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