BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston woman wants to warn the public about a scam she regrets falling victim to. Christina Ryan tells WBZ’s I-Team she had just returned from the hospital and was feeling the effects of her anesthesia, when a man knocked on her door with an offer she thought might spruce up her home.
“They came out of nowhere,” she said. He identified himself as Cornelius Stanley, and had a crew of pavers. “He was a real fast talker,” Ryan said. “He said I have some leftover asphalt.”
He quoted her $4.00 per square foot before handing her a business card that said “Discount Paving” and “$6.00 Sq. Ft.” He later said they ran out of material, left to get more, and returned demanding a shocking total. “$7,700,” she said. “So of course I was, I gasped. I couldn’t believe it. He was aggressive like with his voice. He just scared me, so I figured…I’m just going to pay him.”
Even though he agreed to lower the price to $7,500, she said she now realizes it was still about $3,500 more than his first offer. “My son and I measured the driveway…and it’s half of the amount that he told us that it was,” she said.
The I-Team caught up with Stanley as he walked into Nashua District Court for an unrelated case. He denied overcharging customers. “No, no way…that’s a lie, that’s a lie! I don’t do none of that stuff,” Stanley said.
Court records the I-Team obtained show in New Hampshire alone, Stanley has faced criminal charges 47 times, and spent years in prison. In the summer of 2018, police in Pennsylvania took a booking photo that shows him with injuries on his face after a highway chase. Police said he bilked an elderly man out of $6,000 using the name “American Asphalt Paving”.
That happens to be the name of another New Hampshire paving company with an A-plus rating and many online reviews from happy customers. Bob Stewart, who owns the real American Asphalt Paving says he goes to job sites days in advance and gives detailed estimates that include exact measurements. “Usually people get three estimates,” he said.
That’s something Christina Ryan wishes she had done. “He just got me at a really bad time,” she said.
She called and sent a complaint to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Services office. A spokesperson there tells the I-Team the office is now looking into three complaints against Cornelius Stanley and Discount Paving.
The I-Team asked Stanley if he planned on paying anyone back. “I never did nothing,” he answered.