Friday, 24 July 2009 00:00
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced recently that 42 people have been charged as the result of a five-week investigation into unlicensed contractors in Nassau County conducted by the DA’s Office and the Department of Consumer Affairs. Four face felony charges, including Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from homeowners for improvements that were either not finished or never even started.
Investigators also rented a home in Nassau County and called in unlicensed contractors to perform “renovations.” The two-week operation yielded 12 charges of Operating a Home Improvement Business without a License, a misdemeanor, and the contractors’ vehicles were seized under the County Forfeiture Law. Twenty-six contractors were charged with the same misdemeanor after an investigation into complaints filed with Consumer Affairs.
The arrests were part of a multi-county enforcement sweep also executed in New York City and Westchester County.
“When you hire an unlicensed contractor, you’re rolling the dice,” Rice said, adding that consumers should thoroughly research home contractors before someone is hired. “Our homes are our most valuable financial asset and it is essential we entrust them to licensed, experienced professionals. Don’t let your American Dream become a nightmare.”
Four men are facing felony charges.
Additionally, Manuel Vera-Munoz, 43, of South Farmingdale was charged with Operating a Home Improvement Business without a License in the house sting. He faces up to a year in jail.
Working in conjunction with the Nassau County Department of Consumer Affairs, additional people were charged with Operating a Home Improvement Business without a License after complaints were lodged with Consumer Affairs by homeowners. Among them is Thomas Heaney, 42, of Farmingdale. He faces up to a year in jail.
Handling the felony cases for the District Attorney’s Office is Assistant District Attorney Vickie Curran of the DA’s Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.