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Attorney General Josh Stein Wins Judgment Against Lexington-Area Price Gouger

Release date: 4/23/2019

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein was granted a default judgment that concludes a price gouging lawsuit against Alva Wilson Lewis of Lexington, who does business under the names A1 Tree & Storm Relief, A1 Tree and Storm Damage Relief, and Big Al & Sons Tree Service. As a result of the judgment entered by Superior Court Judge A. Graham Shirley, Lewis is barred from conducting any tree removal or storm recovery work in North Carolina and is required to pay $6,000 in restitution to consumers and $20,000 in fines.
“This person took advantage of a homeowner cleaning up in the wake of Hurricane Florence,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Price gouging is against the law, and my office will hold businesses and people accountable when they price gouge consumers.”
In September, Attorney General Stein filed a lawsuit against Lewis after his employee initially provided an estimate of $4,000 to remove three trees for a Wilmington homeowner. The price then jumped to $7,000, and a final invoice charged the customer $12,000. The homeowner ultimately paid $6,000. 
This is the third lawsuit Attorney General Stein has reached a judgment or settlement in involving price gouging related to Hurricanes Florence and Michael. In all, he has won $240,006 in consumer restitution, $174,971 in money companies are barred from collecting from homeowners, and $20,000 in penalties.
Attorney General Stein was also granted a temporary restraining order last week in his seventh price gouging lawsuit, which was against Florida-based Canary Tree Service. The order bars the company from doing tree removal work or collecting on existing jobs in North Carolina until a preliminary injunction hearing.
A copy of the default judgment can be found here.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

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