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§ 517.8. Home improvement fraud

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 73 P.S. Trade and CommerceEffective: July 1, 2009

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 73 P.S. Trade and Commerce (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 14B. Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act
Effective: July 1, 2009
73 P.S. § 517.8
§ 517.8. Home improvement fraud
(a) Offense defined.--A person commits the offense of home improvement fraud if, with intent to defraud or injure anyone or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the actor:
(1) makes a false or misleading statement to induce, encourage or solicit a person to enter into any written or oral agreement for home improvement services or provision of home improvement materials or to justify an increase in the previously agreed upon price;
(2) receives any advance payment for performing home improvement services or providing home improvement materials and fails to perform or provide such services or materials when specified in the contract taking into account any force majeure or unforeseen labor strike that would extend the time frame or unless extended by agreement with the owner and fails to return the payment received for such services or materials which were not provided by that date;
(3) while soliciting a person to enter into an agreement for home improvement services or materials, misrepresents or conceals the contractor's or salesperson's real name, the name of the contractor's business, the contractor's business address or any other identifying information;
(4) damages a person's property with the intent to induce, encourage or solicit that person to enter into a written or oral agreement for performing home improvement services or providing home improvement materials;
(5) misrepresents himself or another as an employee or agent of the Federal, Commonwealth or municipal government, any other governmental unit or any public utility with the intent to cause a person to enter into any agreement for performing home improvement services or providing home improvement materials;
(6) misrepresents an item as a special order material or to misrepresent the cost of the special order material;
(7) alters a home improvement agreement, mortgage, promissory note or other document incident to performing or selling a home improvement without the consent of the consumer; or
(8) directly or indirectly publishes a false or deceptive advertisement in violation of State law governing advertising about home improvement.
(b) Prosecution.--Prosecutions under this section shall not bar prosecution or conviction for any other crimes.
(c) Grading.--
(1) A violation of subsection (a)(1), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7) or (8) constitutes:
(i) a felony of the third degree if the amount involved exceeds $2,000; or
(ii) a misdemeanor of the first degree if the amount involved is $2,000 or less or if the amount involved cannot be satisfactorily ascertained.
(2) A violation of subsection (a)(2) constitutes:
(i) a felony of the third degree if the amount of the payment retained exceeds $2,000; or
(ii) a misdemeanor of the first degree if the amount of the payment retained is $2,000 or less or if the amount of the payment cannot be satisfactorily ascertained.
(3) Amounts involved pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether involving one or more victims, may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense pursuant to subsection (a).
(4) Where a person commits an offense under subsection (a) and the victim is 60 years of age or older, the grading of the offense shall be one grade higher than specified in paragraphs (1), (2) and (3). This paragraph shall not be applicable to persons whose sentence would be enhanced pursuant to paragraph (5).
(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, where a person commits a second or subsequent offense described in subsection (a), the offense will constitute a felony of the second degree regardless of the amount of money involved. For this paragraph to be applicable, the second or subsequent offense must have occurred after the first conviction. Paragraph (4) shall not be applicable to persons whose sentences would be enhanced pursuant to this paragraph.
(6) In addition to any other penalty imposed by this act, the court may revoke or suspend the certificate. At the time of sentencing, the court shall state the reasons for such revocation or suspension. A person whose registration has been revoked or suspended may petition the court of original jurisdiction for reinstatement after a period of five years from the date of revocation or suspension, or as specified in the court's order. The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts shall report to the bureau any suspension or revocation of a certificate ordered by a court.
(d) Jurisdiction.--
(1) The district attorneys of the several counties shall have the authority to investigate and to institute criminal proceedings for any violation of this section.
(2) In addition to the authority conferred upon the Attorney General by the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L. 950, No. 164),1 known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, the Attorney General shall have the authority to investigate and institute criminal proceedings for any violation of this section or any series of such violations involving more than one county of this Commonwealth or involving any county of this Commonwealth and another state. No person charged with a violation of this section by the Attorney General shall have standing to challenge the authority of the Attorney General to investigate or prosecute the case, and, if any such challenge is made, the challenge shall be dismissed and no relief shall be available in the courts of this Commonwealth to the person making the challenge.

Credits

2008, Oct. 17, P.L. 1645, No. 132, § 8, effective July 1, 2009.

Footnotes

71 P.S. § 732-101 et seq.
73 P.S. § 517.8, PA ST 73 P.S. § 517.8
Current through the end of the 2023 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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