Contractor Charged for “Ripping Off” More than $200 K from Bucks Homeowners
A Huntingdon Valley contractor was charged last week for ripping off at least four Bucks County homeowners of more than $210,000 for work he never completed, and in some cases never began.
Joseph Eibell, 47, faces four counts each of receiving advance payment for services and failing to perform, deceptive business practices, theft by deception and receiving stolen property. All of the charges are felonies.
Eibell was arraigned Wednesday by Magisterial District Judge Stacy Wertman and was remanded to Bucks County Correctional Facility under $2.5 million bail.
The investigation by the Upper Southampton Township Police Department found that from 2019 to present, Eibell accepted advanced payments for work through his Upper Southampton Township-based home improvement business, 3 Brothers Renovation, and then failed to perform the represented quantity of work.
In one case, a Bristol Township man met with Eibell in April 2019 and hired 3 Brothers Renovation to complete several jobs at his home. The total cost of the project, which included a new roof and an addition, as well as interior remodeling, totaled $120,000.
The man paid Eibell $82,000 through a series of deposits and advance payments made between April 2019 and September 2019. Additionally, the man paid $20,000 directly to a store for kitchen cabinets and materials. However, after making the payment, Eibell redirected the funds and used them to purchase materials for other properties.
Some work was performed on the victim’s home, but nothing was completed, and the project was abandoned leaving the home in an unlivable condition. The damage done to the home left it vulnerable to storm damage, and when the victim attempted to get insurance compensation through 3 Brothers Renovations’ insurance company, the victim learned that the policy listed with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office was not valid.
A second victim, who lives in Bristol Borough, said she met with Eibell in June 2021 and hired his company to remediate water damage caused by a plumbing issue. The project would cost $50,000, and she was required to make a deposit of $15,000, split into two checks.
She made the deposit, but after approximately one month with no progress on the project, Eibell requested an additional $15,000, also split into two checks, for materials. The homeowner paid that money in July 2021, but the work stopped on the projects and the materials she paid for never arrived.
She said she made numerous unsuccessful attempts to get Eibell to repay the deposits and provide the purchased materials.
A Falls Township man said he hired 3 Brothers Renovations in July 2021 to complete several renovations on his property for a total of $90,000, to be paid in 10 installments. The man made six payments of $9,000 each, totaling $54,000.
After many excuses and delays, the project remained incomplete and ultimately the victim sold the property to a real estate investor who arranged to complete the work. The victim made numerous attempts to recoup the advance payments from Eibell but was unsuccessful.
An Upper Southampton Township woman said she hired Eibell and 3 Brothers Renovations in October 2021 to complete three renovations to the exterior of her home, including stone pavers, decking and stairs. Eibell requested separate deposits for each of the three phases of the project and an additional fee for drawings and permits.
In two weeks, the woman paid Eibell $24,400 through four checks. Eibell cashed the checks, but no work has ever been performed. The victim made several unsuccessful attempts to recover her deposits.
The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office strongly believes there are more victims and ask anyone with information about Eibell and 3 Brothers Renovations to contact Upper Southampton Township Police Detective James W. Shirmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or the District Attorney’s Office at www.bucksda.org.
The investigation found that Eibell also performed work as 3 Brothers Waterproofing and 3 Brothers Exteriors and may be associated with other businesses. The investigation also revealed that he recently received contracts for work in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
Upper Southampton Township Police Detective James W. Shirmer is the lead investigator in this case, which was referred to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office by the Bucks County Office of Consumer Protection. Deputy District Attorney Alan J. Garabedian is assigned for prosecution.
Eibell is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on June 30 to answer to the charges.