(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Tuesday that his office has filed criminal charges against a St. Joseph contractor.
Brian Spencer Pummell is charged with three counts of Deceptive Business Practice in Buchanan County for allegedly defrauding customers through his business Houston's Construction.
Court documents allege that Pummell took money upfront from customers in exchange for his promise to perform construction work. Pummell allegedly took more than $18,000 in payments but never began the promised work.
After receiving consumer complaints about these unlawful practices, Attorney General Schmitt’s office launched an investigation that resulted in these criminal charges.
Scmitt also filed civil lawsuits against two other contractors and criminal charges against another.
The actions all part of the National Consumer Protection Week.
“Making repairs and renovations on your home can be a stressful, busy time, and selecting a reputable contractor is one of the most important steps in that process,” said Schmitt. “Unfortunately, fraudulent contractors and home repair scammers can take advantage of this stress and use high pressure tactics to get you to pay them, all while completing little to no work. Be careful and deliberate when selecting a contractor. If you do fall victim to these fraudulent contractors, we’re here to help and will take action wherever possible.”
Consumers who believe they may have been scammed by a contractor should file a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office by calling the Consumer Protection hotline at 800-392-8222 or submitting a complaint online at ago.mo.gov.