A Coventry couple who put down a $21,000 deposit for an addition to their house — only to have the contractor take the money and not begin the job — say they are caught in a bureaucratic maze trying to get their money back and have the contractor punished.
Linda and Bob Walton needed a first-floor addition to their colonial off Read Schoolhouse Road because Bob has inoperable lung cancer and finds it increasingly difficult to climb the stairs. Last spring they hired Raymond Oliver, who owns T & R Construction, after the contractor they had lined up died unexpectedly.
The couple signed a contract on April 10 for the $63,000 addition, writing a check for a third of the total. Oliver told them he could begin in May. When he still hadn’t shown up in June — after multiple phone calls — they turned to the state and the police.
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This week, The Department of Business Regulation, which oversees the Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board, issued an emergency order suspending Oliver’s registration. It comes nearly five months after the Waltons filed a complaint and several weeks after the Hummel Report began to make inquiries about Oliver with the state.
The order charges Oliver with scamming two other homeowners, one as recently as mid-September. The Rhode Island attorney general’s office will say only that it is still deciding whether to…