Victim of scam waiting for restitution

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A contractor that 12 on Your Side has followed consistently gets more jail time, but the homeowner he stiffed is still waiting to get paid.

The case of a Richmond homeowner trying to get restitution from a drug addicted contractor dates back a long time. Justice is slow to arrive for the homeowner. Clayton Duty was suppose to have made restitution last month. 

Tonight, Clayton Duty is in a cell at Richmond City Jail sentenced to 5-years with all but 3-months suspended for failure to perform promised construction, in return for advances and failure to pay back homeowner James Hicks.

"He was very apologetic to me," said Hicks.

Duty has admitted in court to a 2-year addiction to heroin. He's also talked about how he wants to change his life, even signing up for intensive rehab through adult drug court in Chesterfield. But Hicks, one of Duty's Richmond victims, wonders if he'll ever see restitution. He doesn't believe Duty is making an effort to work.

15-months have passed since he lost $5100 to the unlicensed contractor. Hicks hired Duty to repair his A.C. unit and upgrade his home's electrical system. He never did the work.

"He took it in 5 minutes so why not a least pay something back, in 15 minutes. I offered him the opportunity to cut grass and I'd take $150 off a month," Hicks said.

We got help for Hicks through donated services from two business owners moved by his predicament... Atlee Electrical and Michael and Son Services.

"They stepped up and made the home livable until I could go through all the court proceedings. It's been 15 months now," he said. "I'm still out of the money and he's trying to make arrangements to make restitution once he's not incarcerated." 

Duty's 3-month jail sentence will be followed by probation. His parole officer will get him to work and establish a repayment plan. If Duty violates that, he will have to do the rest of the time.

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