WALTHAM (CBS) – Waltham Police are warning residents to be on the lookout for a scam artist. They say 47-year-old Cornelius Stanley has tricked people into handing over thousands of dollars in a driveway paving scam. He’s not only well-known to police; he’s also known to WBZ’s I-Team.
Police say on Presidents Day, Stanley approached a Waltham home, offering to pave the driveway at a discount using leftover asphalt from another job. “This ‘good deal’ typically results in him running out of pavement and saying he will return to finish the job,” says the Waltham Police warning. “If he does return, the price will rise dramatically. We don’t want you to get scammed, call us if you suspect someone is attempting to scam you.” Police are also circulating a picture of Stanley from the homeowner’s doorbell camera.
The I-Team first reported on Cornelius Stanley back in November after Christina Ryan said he went to her home in Roslindale, right after she returned from the hospital and was still feeling the effects of her anesthesia.
“They came out of nowhere,” she said. “He was a real fast talker. … He said I have some leftover asphalt.” He quoted her $4 per square foot before handing her a business card that said “Discount Paving” and “$6.00 Squ. 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.”
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 that 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, said he goes to job sites days in advance and gives detailed estimates that include exact measurements. “Usually people get three estimates,” he said.
In the most recent case in Waltham, the resident did not hand over any money. Police said they want to spread the message to prevent more people from falling victim.