Saturday, January 19, 2008

Criminal Prosecutions Of Home Improvement & Repair Contractors

The following links are to recent stories involving home repair and improvement prosecutions and the criminal charges involved:

Connecticut - Police said Angelo Cassarino, a 38-year-old Babylon, New York man accused of bilking an elderly woman out of $1,851 during a home improvement project, was arrested on a warrant that charged him with second-degree larceny and second-degree reckless endangerment. Police said Cassarino did not properly secure a liner in the woman's chimney on Valley Circle, which could have blocked ventilation and cause a buildup of carbon monoxide in her house. Piping on the job also was smaller than it should have been, police said. About $8,800 in repairs are needed to fix the job, police said. See $1,800 Bilking (3rd story from top).

Massachusetts - William D. Chappell, of Worcester, who was hired to (1) install a new roof, and (2) rebuild a deck and paint the exterior of a house in Shrewsbury, was arrested for receiving over $11,000 for both jobs, and allegedly did not complete either job. He was charged with a violation of the Massachusetts home improvement contract statute; he is also wanted for a New York State probation violation for "grand larceny pertaining to the same type of contractor fraud scheme.” See City man held in home improvement case.

New York - Todd Clifford, of Webster, and who defrauded customers by taking money for work he didn't finish was sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison, after pleading guilty to third- and fourth-degree larceny. See Contractor Gets 6 to 12 Years for Defrauding Customers.

Illinois - A DuPage County grand jury indicted Lubos Dubravsky, of Schiller Park, on felony charges of suspicion he defrauded a Naperville woman who hired him to install hardwood flooring, according to court records. He is charged with theft and home repair fraud. Authorities allege Dubravsky accepted a $3,000 down payment from the woman, but failed to provide any work. See Man accused of theft, fraud (3rd story from top).

Delaware - Delaware State Police detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Donald J. Schulze (T/A Affordable Construction Inc.), of Millsboro, charging him with felony theft and home improvement fraud. The victim paid Schulze $11,345.77 to repair her mobile home that had been damaged by fire. Schulze allegedly received the money and only completed $2,000.00 worth of work on the property. See Police searching for Millsboro man.

Maryland - Kevin Robinson was sentenced to six months in jail after prosecutors said he accepted $23,000 for a contracting job he never completed. Prosecutors said Robinson took the money and didn't do the work. Robinson was sentenced after pleading guilty to failing to put money in an escrow account. Prosecutors said this may have been the first conviction in Maryland under the law involving contractor escrow accounts. See Man Sentenced To Jail In Contractor Scam (Prosecutors Say Man Took Money For Job He Didn't Complete).

Kentucky - Louisville Metro Police arrested Willie S. Baldon, of Louisville, for allegedly scamming an 86-year-old woman out of thousands of dollars in a home repair scheme. Police say he was paid for work that was never completed. He allegedly received $6,697.97 but no repairs were made to the woman's home. Baldon has been charged with exploiting an elderly person and three counts of theft by deception, according to his arrest citation. The department's crimes-against-seniors unit was involved in the investigation. See Police charge man with bilking elderly woman over home repairs (Nearly $7,000 paid; work never began).

California - Palm Springs Police Detectives are looking for help located a mother and son team wanted for 38 counts of Financial Elder Abuse and Contractor Fraud. An extraditable warrant has been issued for the arrest of Mary Agnes Stewart, 62, and her son, Joseph Cunningham, 44, for allegedly defrauding an elderly Palm Springs couple of approximately $800,000 over a four-month period by contracting to do remodeling work in the couple's Las Palmas area home. According to reports, they allegedly required the victims to pay large quantities of money in installments. They started demolition of the couple's home, and then fled without providing any materials or construction work. See Palm Springs Police Search for Elder Abuse Suspects.

For other posts on contractors accused of stiffing customers, go here and go here. contractors stiff subs customers zeta

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