Chesterfield unlicensed landscaper is in trouble again

Chesterfield unlicensed landscaper is in trouble again

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Paul Anderson, an unlicensed landscaper who has been the subject of many 12 On Your Side investigations, was recently arrested in Chesterfield and charged with receiving advance pay and not performing work.

In court Tuesday, he waived his right to an attorney the same day the customer at the center of the latest complaint told us what landed Anderson in trouble again.

Customer Butch Cline said he felt violated because he trusted Anderson, but he also was determined to get back his $4,000 deposit. Anderson paid the money back before Tuesday's court arraignment.

Cline said he got his refund after a phone call from Paul Anderson's lawyer telling him Anderson wanted to return his $4,000 deposit. Cline got the money in what he said was in a rather strange way. "He gave me the money in full. Two packs of 20 $100 bills but the wrapper was dated November 7, 2013."

The deposit was for a patio that was supposed to be built in Cline's backyard Thanksgiving 2015.  He said there was no work, no materials and limited contact with Anderson. Cline said he wanted to warn others. "The first red flag was after a couple weeks I tried to get a hold of him. He wasn't getting back to me, and I said here, 'I'm a new customer. You need to stay on top of things.'"

Cline showed us where the patio as planned as he talked about other bad signs. "I called the insurance company to see if he was licensed and bonded to verify it, and I made it a point to tell him when I finally did catch up with him. He was like insulted and upset with me," Cline said.

On Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) said Paul Anderson is not a licensed contractor. He was convicted of working without a license in 2014. It also said Anderson is associated with his son's company BT Anderson.

Right now, DPOR said its working complaints against Brehun Taylor Anderson, and those cases are moving through the investigation process. We looked into a half dozen customer complaints against Paul Anderson last year.

It's not clear how the court will handle Cline's complaint now that he's been paid. "I don't want this to stop just because I received payment. He needs to be held accountable for all his behavior, his conduct and I don't know if our system has really held him judicially accountable," Cline added

We reached out to Anderson for his side of the story, but he has not returned our calls yet.

In the meantime, the Contractor's Board sees this as an important opportunity to remind people to limit your down payment to $1,000 or 10 percent of the total amount of the project and check the company's license online.

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