A Meadville contractor with a history of defrauding unsuspecting customers is again charged with violating the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act after allegedly ripping off a 42 year old Cornplanter Township, Venango County woman between last October 12th and November 24th 2016. The Franklin state police report Chad Michael Eckenrode, 36 presented himself as a contractor otherwise known as Eckenrodes Handyman Service to Lisa Batchelder. It is reported Batchelder gave Eckenrode $5,850.00 for the total job to be completed by Eckenrode. After receiving the money, according to the state police, Eckenrode completed limited work and failed to finish the project. Batchelder has since sued Eckenrode in Civil Court according to online court records.
An Emlenton couple lost $12,000 when Eckenrode pulled the same stunt between July 9th last year and Janury 30th this year. He was charged with3 felonies in that case. His case will proceed to trial.
In August of 2015, we reported to you at least one other similar incident. At that time, the Meadville State Police were investigating an incident between July 27 and August 18th at 18902 Brake Shoe Road Woodcock Township, Crawford County. The investigators reported Eckenrode was contracted by a Meadville woman. for a construction job and was given a portion of money to buy materials. The Eckenrode showed up only completing a small amount of the work. Police say he took a substantial amount of remaining money and was never heard from seen again.
According to online court records Eckenrode was sentenced January 27 in the earlier case in Crawford County by President Judge Anthony Vardaro. Eckenrode is serving 15 to 84 months for that incident. He was also sentence to pay $5600 restitution in that case and $250 in yet another similar case. At the time Judge Vardaro specified Eckenrode would be eligible for Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive (Good Behavior) for 11.25 months.