AG Gansler Orders Driveway Paver to Pay Almost $500K for Unlawful Practices
Tommy Clack misled consumers, lacked required licenses
Baltimore, MD ( July 6, 2012) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has issued a Final Order against Annapolis-based driveway paver, Tommy Edward Clack. The Division ordered Mr. Clack to pay at least $204,527 in restitution to consumers, $284,000 in civil monetary penalties and $5,000 in agency expenses.
"This significant penalty against Mr. Clack is a victory for all Maryland consumers who were victimized by his unscrupulous tactics," said Attorney General Gansler. "His method of deceiving customers on the cost of a paving job and doing so without the required licenses is a clear violation of the law. It also reinforces why our office encourages consumers to make sure contractors are licensed before hiring them to do work."
The Division found that that Clack, 40, preyed on consumers -- mostly senior citizens -- by refusing to provide estimates or giving lowball estimates and then charging the consumers thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to pave their driveways. Mr. Clack provided a verbal estimate of $4,000 to one consumer, but after the driveway was paved, he charged the consumer $32,500. Another consumer told Clack he could not pay more than $2,000 to have a small portion of his driveway paved and Clack charged him $31,077. Mr. Clack sold and performed his driveway paving services without the required home improvement contractor and salesperson's licenses. He was also found to have violated the Maryland Door-to-Door Sales Act by, among other things, failing to notify consumers of their right to cancel and ignoring consumers' requests to cancel.
The Consumer Protection Division's Final Order contains an injunction barring Mr. Clack from violating Maryland law and requiring Mr. Clack to immediately cease and desist from offering and selling home improvement services unless he obtains the required licenses and posts a $50,000 bond with the Division to protect consumers. The Division ordered Mr. Clack to reimburse all of the money he collected from consumers for the unlicensed driveway paving services he sold and performed. Included in the restitution order is at least $204,527 that the Division found Mr. Clack owed to 14 consumers who testified at a hearing on the charges. The Division also penalized Mr. Clack $284,000, which equals the maximum penalty of $1,000 per violation for each of the 284 days that the Division determined Mr. Clack did business in Maryland. Finally, Mr. Clack was ordered to pay $5,000 for the Division's costs.
Mr. Clack used the names Tommy Clark or Ed Clack, and operated using the following trade names: Maryland Asphalt, Maryland Asphalt Paving Company and County Asphalt. He is also known to have used the name Ed Crabtree and operated as Crabtree Paving in other states.