Contractor makes full restitution in Fountain Springs case; charges withdrawn


Aug. 11—FRACKVILLE — A Benton contractor had theft charges against him withdrawn Wednesday after he made full restitution and the victim did not want to proceed.

Francisco C. Avila, 31, of 410 Third St., Box 177, was scheduled to appear Wednesday for a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Justice Edward J. Tarantelli.

Avila had been charged by Butler Twp. Police Chief Daniel Holderman with one felony count each of receiving advance payment for services and failing to provide the services; and theft by deception-false impression.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas P. Pellish said the charges were withdrawn because Avila returned the $17,500 he received and the victim, Chrita Wood, of Fountain Springs, was satisfied.

Holderman said he charged Avila after Wood reported giving Avila of Avila Home Improvements a bank check in the amount of $16,500 on Oct. 12, 2021, to remodel a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen at her 18 Maple St. home.

In return, Avila provided the woman with a signed quote that included the notation that payment was made in full

Then, on Dec. 22, 2021, Wood reported giving Avila another $1,000 check for drywall for the same project, which had not yet been started.

Wood, a commode and vanity had been delivered to the home, but no work had been performed, Holderman said.

Holderman said he contacted Avila numerous times starting in February and was initially told that the contractor had most of the supplies to begin the job.

The chief said he informed Avila that Wood wanted her money back or wanted him to provide the supplies he had on hand for the project.

Holderman said that Avila also told him that he would sell the supplies and return the money to Wood, so Avila was given a time frame to do so.

The chief also said that Avila never provided receipts for any of the materials he said he purchased for the project.

In a later conversation, Avila said he was getting a payment for a job and would need six weeks to get Wood her money, the chief said.

Holderman said he gave Avila eight weeks to return the money or face charges, which the chief ended up filing on July 25.