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A contractor awaiting sentencing in court for failing to provide services after being paid is now facing more charges.

The Lawrence County District Attorney’s office has refiled three counts of bad checks against Matthew Steven Leslie, 43, of Wilmington Township.

Leslie pleaded guilty in court Friday to one count of receiving advance pay for services and failing to perform.

He was charged a year ago in September, accused of taking $33,954.77 up front from a Neshannock Township homeowner for repair of a swimming pool and for other work, none of which he completed, according to a criminal complaint.

The investigators also reported that he was not registered under the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act through the state office of the attorney general; that he did not have proper insurance coverage; and that he did not provided a required registration number on his contract. They reported that he had been paid to obtain a building permit from the township zoning officer but he never obtained it.

Leslie had falsely advised the homeowners that he was bonded and insured prior to working on their property, they reported to the investigator.

His sentencing date is at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 29. According to investigators, Leslie has since repaid the Neshannock family for most of the money, and must pay it all by his sentencing date.

He also is facing three counts of bad checks, filed Tuesday by the district attorney’s office. The same charges had been filed previously but were withdrawn.

The investigators reported that Leslie had issued checks to someone on three occasions in 2019, that either bounced or were duplicate presentments, where the check was deposited in two different banks, one electronically and one on paper. The investigator noted he had changed a number on one of them, according to a complaint.

He was sent a summons for court on those charges. Suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty or adjudicated in a court of law.


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Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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