Former Customers Speak Out Following Erie Contractor's Sentencin - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Former Customers Speak Out Following Erie Contractor's Sentencing

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An Erie contractor charged with ripping off some of his customers, will now spend up to three-and-a-half years in prison.

Darryl Baideme, 40, wept as he apologized to his victims before receiving his sentence of 22 to 44 months in prison, on charges of deceptive business practices, theft, and home improvement fraud.

"It's greatly impacted everyone,” said Tina Merritt.  “From small children, to elderly people, disabled people.  He's a predator."

Merritt and her husband hired Baideme to remodel their bathroom and fix a wall in their basement.

"He took us for just about $11,000,” said Merritt.  “He never completed the work."

As a result, Merritt says her seven-year-old son Wyatt, who suffers from a rare disease with no cure, has been unable to get the proper treatment that he needs.

He saw our son on a feeding tube, said Merritt.  But he still had no care that, oh, Im going to take their money and run, because my needs are greater than theirs and their childs.

As owner of Baideme Construction, investigators accuse Darryl of receiving advanced payments for services, but failing to complete the work.

Jill Johnson says Baideme was a tenant of one of her rental properties.

"This is the first time in two years that I’ve heard an apology,” said Johnson.  "Part of the lease agreement was that he was supposed to replace the roof on the house that he was living in."

But after paying him to purchase materials, Johnson says the work was never done.

From the time that he took money from mein 2015, he went on to rip off five, six, 10, 20 other people after he took money from me and did the same thing to me." said Johnson.

In a recent interview, Baideme told Erie News Now that he wants to pay everyone back, which he also expressed at his sentencing.

Both Johnson and Merritt call Baideme's actions a violation of trust.

"He's not looking at the chaos that he caused, said Merritt.  There are families that are no longer together, there are divorces taking place.  Families lives have been turned upside down because of him.

Baideme has also been ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to two of his former customers.

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