Bennington man accused of home improvement fraud

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SHAFTSBURY — State police have cited a Bennington man with home improvement fraud after receiving a complaint that he took payment for a tree-clearing project he didn't complete.

Arthur Raymond Barber, 47, is scheduled to answer to the charge in Bennington Superior criminal court on Dec. 21, state police said in a news release.

Shaftsbury resident Gabrielle Rynes told the Banner she paid Barber a total of $1,100 in August to do "tree work" on her property, including taking down five trees, cutting up the tree trunks and clearing brush. But, she said, Barber completed only about a quarter of the work they agreed on.

Barber has done work for her on and off for four years, so Rynes said she gave him the second half of the payment though he had not yet completed the job. She said he promised to finish the work that same day but didn't want his men to wait two days to get paid because banks were closed the following day, the Bennington Battle Day holiday.

Barber could not be reached for comment at the number he advertised on his work posters. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.

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