More CNYers claiming to be victims of contractor come forward: Your Stories

Published 04/14 2014 07:02PM

Updated 04/14 2014 07:15PM

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A local independent contractor is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from homeowners across New York State.

After NewsChannel 9 aired an investigative report about Paul Warner on Friday, several people saying they were victims of the contractor came forward claiming they paid him for work he never completed.

One homeowner even claimed he had him arrested after he says Warner stole copper pipes from his home.

Andrea Brand returned to her childhood home in Central New York in 1996 to begin a new chapter in her life.

But, her fresh start soon turned out to be her worst nightmare - after she said Warner cost her thousands of dollars in damages that she still hasn't recovered to this day.

“He came, he tore things apart and just left them,” Brand said. “He talks a good game; he's a consummate con artist.”

In 1996, Warner signed a contract to replace Brand's roof and to paint her home.

It was supposed to cost about $10,000 according to the contract, but instead, Brand said the work was never completed and the damage was far more extensive than she could have ever imagined.

“At one point he had taken off sections of the roof and he improperly tarped it and I had waterfalls all over the house,” Brand explained.

Photos Brand provided show water damage to the home including almost every inch in a butler's pantry and other parts of her house.

Brand filed a lawsuit against Warner for more than $9,000, but things didn't turn out quite like she hoped for.

“I paid this lawyer, I got a judgment, but I never saw a penny of it,” Brand said. “I got a judgment, but apparently you can get however many judgments you want, but collecting is another matter; that's on you.”

Brand said she was never able to collect the money and even worse - she's still paying on the debt she said she incurred to fix Warner's damage.

It's a costly trend of bad contractors that Senator Charles Schumer is now working to reverse.

“We really need policing of this. I've seen so many cases where people feel frustrated and angry but they are just helpless,” Senator Schumer said.

Senator Schumer proposes implementing a bond - at the State level, a move that Brand hopes will prevent anyone else from going through the same pain she says she did.

“I doubt there's anything that's going to happen for me, but the man belongs in prison, he's a conman, he's a thief and he's still hurting people,” Brand said.

Victims say Warner continues to change the name of his business, which would make it easier for him to get away with the accused crimes.

The Better Business Bureau said there are currently no businesses in it's system linked directly to Warner.

The Attorney General's Office investigated Brand's case back in 2002, but it was closed after Warner allegedly left town.

A spokesperson for the AG’s Office said they had no comment on the accusations against Warner or if they're currently investigating him.

NewsChannel 9 also learned there is a warrant for Warner’s arrest in Liverpool, and we've reached out to the District Attorney's Office to see if any criminal charges could be filed.

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