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Paving scammer could face more charges

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Tommy Clack (Source: Florence County Detention Center) Tommy Clack (Source: Florence County Detention Center)

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) A man accused of scamming individuals by offering to pave their driveways and not following through with the job has pleaded guilty to those charges.

Florence Solicitor Ed Clements tells WMBF News that Tommy Clack pleaded guilty just before he was set to go to trial Monday.

Clack pleaded guilty to one count felony obtaining goods for which he was sentenced to 10 years. That sentence was suspended to five years probation, and restitution. Clack also pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of swindling. He was sentenced to 90 days suspended to five years probation, and restitution.

The restitution is $80,500 which covers all of the money allegedly lost by Clack's victims in Florence County.

Solicitor Clements says Clack was picked up in Horry County on the bench warrants out of Florence County and was transferred to the Florence County Detention Center over the weekend.

Police in Dillon are now reporting that Tommy Clack is suspecting of scamming three woman between May 28 and May 29, using similar techniques as used in the past.

They expect to press additional charges against Clack, who is incarcerated in the Florence County Detention Center.

Back in 2010, a judge ordered a permanent ban against Clack, forbidding him to conduct business in North Carolina. Clack previously owned Horry County Asphalt and New Hanover Asphalt in Wilmington.

In 2009, the Better Business Bureau said Horry County Asphalt was going door-to-door, pressuring elderly homeowners to repave their driveways at high prices.

"He could sell ice boxes to an eskimo," said Sara Quinto, referring to Tommy Clack, the owner of the paving company. "He's so smooth."

Quinto met Clack in July of 2009 when he pulled up to her house with an offer to pave her driveway.

"We never have any door-to-door salesmen out here because you have to come down a very isolated dirt road," Quinto explained.

Before she knew it, she signed a $13,000 contract to have her driveway repaved.

"It's high pressure, fast, and you don't really have time to think," Quinto said.

According to Kathy Graham, president of the Coastal Better Business Bureau, that's Clack's modus operandi.

"He goes and he gets the people to sign the contract, and the trucks move onto the lot," she said. "They do it within minutes. They begin work."

Problem is, Graham says a Federal Trade Commission rule allows consumers to back out of door-to-door salesmen contracts.

"If someone knocks on your door, you technically have three days to cancel contract," Graham explained.

Clack has been arrested for fraudulent practices involving elderly victims in North Carolina.

"As far as me approaching a homeowner if they're home, it's not uncommon practice for anyone to go around and make sales," said Clack, who now lives in the Myrtle Beach area.

Clack said he sometimes goes door-to-door for work when business is slow, but the high-pressure accusations against him are false: "No way possible did we high-pressure sell her."

Quinto paid Horry County Asphalt with two checks. She said she was able to cancel one for $14,000 after doing research on his company.

Clack said he was pursing legal action against Quinto for non-payment.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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