Friday, May 13, 2016

Contractor Gets Three Years For Bilking Elderly Couple Out Of Over $80,000 For Unfinished, Substandard Improvements On Home That Was Subsequently Lost To Foreclosure

In Summit County, Ohio, Ohio.com reports:
  • A contractor apologized to an elderly Copley Township woman he was convicted of bilking out of more than $80,000 in home repairs, saying during his sentencing [] that she and her late husband were “like grandparents” to him. [...] Vertucci, 41, of Green, was found guilty by a jury in January of theft from a person in a protected class, a second-degree felony.

    Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands told Vertucci [] that what he did amounted to fraud and sentenced him to three years in prison. She also ordered him to pay $87,618 in restitution.

    Vertucci, a self-employed contractor and owner of Allan Vertucci Corporation, plans to appeal. Vertucci’s sentencing was delayed last month to allow his attorney time to gather records for the elderly couple’s credit cards.

    Richard and Jean Goodall hired Vertucci in 2012 to renovate their Bridlewood Drive house in Copley Township, including replacing the roof and windows, waterproofing the basement and repairing a septic tank. Vertucci never completed the work and what was done was substandard, investigators found.

    A puddle of human waste was discovered in the home’s front yard, which Summit County Public Health said was a result of Vertucci’s work.

    Assistant Prosecutor Nik Buckmeier told Rowlands he thought a six-year prison sentence was warranted. He said Vertucci displayed aggressive and predatory behavior against the Goodalls for the nearly two years he worked on their home.

    “He essentially stole their life savings,” Buckmeier said. “The condition of the home was deplorable.”

    Richard “Dick” Goodall, 80, died in October 2014. Jean Goodall lost their home to foreclosure and filed for bankruptcy.

    Rowlands asked Jean Goodall, who walks with the help of a cane, what she would like to see happen to Vertucci.

    We lost all of our money,” she told the judge. “We lost our home. How can he pay me back? You put him where he belongs.”

    Jennifer Sheehan, one of Goodall’s daughters, held up a key to her parents’ home that they gave her when she was 10. “This is the only thing I have left,” she said of her childhood home.

    Sheehan noted that her mother now lives in 400 square feet, compared to the 2,400 square feet she had in her house.

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