WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — A local contractor is facing several counts of home improvement fraud.
Westmoreland County detectives say Jason Pirl took tens of thousands of dollars from victims for work he never started. The alleged victims span several counties, and criminal court records show Pirl has done this kind of thing before.READ MORE: Defense Attorney Says Homicide Charges In Westmoreland County Slaying Should Be Dropped
Heather Prue said she first became aware of the 40-year-old Pirl after he did some work for a family member.
“My mom got him off Angie’s List. He did some painting for her,” Prue said.
Pirl did a good job, according to Prue, so she asked him last year to put a roof over the deck at her Unity Township home.
“He needed to have $9,100 down,” said Prue.
At the same time, Pirl lined up another home improvement job at Prue’s mother’s home in Greensburg.
“He had given my mom a bid on another project that she was doing. She then, in turn, gave him $11,000 for that project,” Prue said.
After the two came to an agreement, Prue says Pirl made arrangements to start the job but never did.READ MORE: 'Relax, There's Plenty Of Fuel:' Pennsylvania Largely Unaffected By Colonial Pipeline Outage
“He’d say he’d start on a certain day and then would call me and say the weather was this, and it was moved back a day,” Prue said.
Prue showed KDKA multiple text messages, one saying Pirl suffered a heart attack. Another one claimed that Pirl and his crew were exposed to coronavirus.
And finally, Pirl claimed that he had a death in the family.
“I told him to give me my supplies back,” Prue said.
As bad as the home improvement fraud allegations are, if you take a look at court records, they show that Pirl was charged with essentially the same thing about 10 years ago.
According to court records, Pirl’s latest victims — Prue and her mom — were taken for $9,100 and $11,500, respectively. A 74-year-old woman in Hermine said she paid Pirl $20,500 for nothing more than empty promises, court records show.
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti spoke with Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck, who said any other victims should call his office or their local police department.MORE NEWS: Police: 2 Dead, 1 Injured Following Shooting In New Castle
KDKA’s attempts to reach Pirl are ongoing.