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Attorney General's News Release

November 8, 2010

Attorney General Koster files felony charge against Maries County man for consumer fraud

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster filed criminal charges against Terry Wayne Phelps, who has operated under the name “Road Maintenance Construction,” for allegedly defrauding a Vichy man into paying $56,000 for substandard paving work.

“Consumers should be very cautious when approached by people selling home improvement services door-to-door,” Koster said. “Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers, but scammers should be assured that this office will aggressively pursue anyone who tries to defraud vulnerable, trusting Missourians out of their hard-earned money.”

Koster charged Phelps (DOB 10/12/74) with one count of unlawful merchandising practices fraud in connection with the sale of asphalt and paving services to Walter Tiede, age 82, of Vichy. The felony complaint filed by Koster’s office alleges that Phelps misrepresented to Mr. Tiede that he had leftover asphalt from a previous job and that Phelps would provide Mr. Tiede with an estimate. The charges also allege that Phelps omitted to disclose to Tiede that the total price for the asphalt job would be $56,000 prior to performing the work and upon finishing the asphalt work Phelps misrepresented to Tiede that the value of the work performed was $56,000.

Unlawful merchandising practices is a Class D felony under Missouri law, punishable upon conviction by up to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000 per count. Bail has been set at $50,000. The pending charges against the defendant are merely accusations. As in all criminal cases, the defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.

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