Tree-removal company pays $26K in penalties in Wilmington price-gouging case

A Wilmington, North Carolina resident will receive $6,000 in restitution after filing a price-gouging complaint with the state attorney general after Hurrican Florence.

In September 2018, Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit against the tree company after an 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.

The Lexington-based tree company that does business as A1 Tree & Storm Relief, A1 Tree and Storm Damage Relief, and Big Al & Sons Tree Service was found guilty and has been barred from conducting any tree removal or storm recovery work within the state of North Carolina.

In addition to the $6,000 restitution, the state has collected $20,000 in civil penalties that will go toward funding local schools.

The company has no relation to A-1 Tree Service, LLC out of Hampstead, NC.