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Home improvement contractor facing new fraud charges

A Western New York home improvement contractor is being sued by the New York State Attorney General's office for defrauding consumers.

Robert B. Cooper Jr. has been doing business as Robert's Paving and Excavating. Cooper was ordered in court to stop doing home improvements after similar complaints in 2014 when he was operating as Finger Lakes Asphalt.

In the new complaints, he is accused of using bait and switch sales tactics, failing to obtain consumer authorization before beginning work and intimidation bill collecting tactics.

Cooper was ordered to become compliant with state law and to pay over $8,100 in restitution and $3,000 in penalties and costs during legal action three years ago. In the new legal filing, the AG's office is also seeking civil and criminal contempt action.

If Cooper is found in contempt of the court’s order, he could be permanently banned from working as a home improvement contractor in New York, ordered to pay civil penalties and criminal fines and sentenced up to six months in jail.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.