Judges in criminal courts can order repayment just like any civil judge. It happens all the time and it is usually part of the plea agreement to keep the suspect out of jail. If they do jail time then they can not make them repay because jail time is part of working their debit off. The key to all of this is to NEVER NEVER NEVER pay anyone full amount before any work is ever done. And if money is put down dont do more then 25% (thats my rule) and NEVER pay in cash. We can prevent 90% of this stuff from happening if we just quit being such suckers. If I am paying anyone with my money, I always ask to see their ID. Any legit person would not mine me getting their name or OLN number if they are working for me.