• Contractor charged with fraud, theft in case with multiple victims

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    SHARPSBURG, Pa. - A local contractor is charged with home improvement fraud and theft in a case with multiple victims.

    Craig Pitcairn allegedly defrauded clients in Allegheny and Butler counties, investigators say.

    According to investigators, he took tens of thousands of dollars for work he never did.

    Pitcairn's website said he has been installing custom elevators for decades and his business in Sharpsburg was recognized as a top distributor.


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    Pitcairn is the president of James R. Pitcairn, Inc.

    When Channel 11 tried to speak with him outside his Sharpsburg business location, he said he knew about the criminal charges and referred our crew to his lawyer.

    According to the criminal complaint, there are four victims: two in Allegheny County and two in Butler County.

    Investigators said Pitcairn took more than $66,000 from those victims in down payments to install home elevators, but police said "Pitcairn did little or no work" blaming the delays on "work load and manpower issues."

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    A former customer told Channel 11 he gave Pitcairn a down payment of more than $15,000 in 2016.

    Nearly a year later, when the work still hadn't been done, he was promised a refund, but he has yet to see the money.

    Pitcairn's lawyer told Channel 11:

    "My client maintains he intended to defraud no one and that his business difficulties presented a scenario he is trying to remedy. We perceive this matter to be civil in nature and Mr. Pitcairn intends to make all of his customers whole."

    A customer in Butler County told investigators she even contacted the company that manufactured the elevator that Pitcairn was to install and was told he never ordered the elevator.

    His lawyer told Channel 11 that Pitcairn has a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition before a judge -- which includes all of the alleged victims -- and it's expected to be approved by the judge in September.


     

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