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Son says Bryant-native conned Mom

A Bryant-native is accused of conning an elderly Benton woman.

BENTON (KATV) -

A Saline county woman still mourning the loss of her husband is now dealing with a new emotion: embarrassment.

It seems she has been duped by a door-to-door driveway paver.

Unfortunately the Arkansas Ashphalt Pavement Association sees a lot of sad scam stories.

This one stands out as being especially egregious.

When a young man knocked on the door of this home back in early august...he quickly sized up the homeowner as an easy mark.

"She's 80 years old,” says her son Rocky Burkheart. “She's real frail. Her husband died in March and she's still...you know a little lost on a lot of things. And sometimes her mind is not all there."

Burkheart sent us photos of Manuel Cooper, the man who initially took $1,800.00 to patch and seal his mother's driveway.

Cooper returned two weeks later and collected a second $3,200.00 check.

Then, on September 18th, he talked Burkheart's mom into paying him another $2,900.00.

So in total...$7,900.00 was paid to Manuel Cooper to patch and seal this Saline county driveway.

We invited Park Estes, executive director of the Arkansas Asphalt Pavement Association to take a look at the job. Then we told him what it cost. He says a reputable contractor would have charged about $1,200.00 for the same work.

"A lot of these guys will just drive around town looking for old driveways in older neighborhoods and start knocking on doors,” says Estes. “And then a lot of times unfortunately they find elderly people and they take advantage of them."

When a contract is involved usually a prosecutor will determine situations like this are a civil matter rather than a criminal matter. But the amount of money paid in this case is so high and the strategy employed so devious that Burkheart is hopeful law enforcement will agree with him...that this is a theft worthy of prosecution.

Estes recommends you check with the Arkansas Asphalt Pavement Association if you want to find and hire a reputable driveway contractor.

Air date: October 5th, 2017

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