Business takes hit because of scammer

MANCHESTER – Robert Stewart couldn’t figure out what was going on with his business, “American Asphalt Paving,” when suddenly calls for jobs dropped off steeply a few weeks ago.

Stewart, 34, said his company normally performs close to 150 paving jobs a year, and typically gets up to 15 calls a day for new work during the paving season.

“My call ratio’s gone down bigtime,” Stewart said.

As his business slowed, and a couple of customers canceled, one of Stewart’s employees was asked at a gas station if he was part of a scam paving company recently busted in Pennsylvania. That company, fronted by Cornelius C. Stanley Jr., was calling itself “American Asphalt Paving.”

“I never heard of this subject, ever,” Stewart said of Stanley.

Stanley, 45, was arrested last month in Pennsylvania, while running a scam on an elderly man.

According to police, Stanley approached the alleged victim and offered to pave his driveway at a discount with asphalt left over from another job.

The homeowner told Stanley and his employees no, but the asphalt was laid anyway. Stanley then allegedly told the man he would need to go buy more material to complete the job, according to police. That discounted paving job allegedly ended up costing the victim $6,000.

Stewart, meanwhile, has been paving for 18 years, and has owned his own business for much of that time. Through the years, he has built up a solid reputation, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

He is not sure, but he believes the name of his company may have been used to trade off his good reputation.

Stewart, a father to five children, hopes his business can recover from the association with Stanley’s alleged activities.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or dfisher@nashua or @Telegraph_DF.