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February 02, 2003

DA Dillon, Commissioner Bogsted Announce Charges Against Unlicensed Home Improvement Contractors

Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon and Nassau County Commissioner of Consumer Affairs Roger Bogsted announced today that charges have recently been filed against eight individuals who were operating unlicensed home improvement companies.

Trevor Gordon, 36, who does business as RX Construction and Modern Home Construction, both located at 1213 Dutch Broadway, North Valley Stream, was arrested at his home today.

According to Dillon, "In recent months my office and the Department of Consumer Affairs received a number of complaints about Gordon, involving shoddy and incomplete work, damages caused to homes, and in one instance, failure to refund a $6,000 deposit when a homeowner canceled a contract after discovering that Gordon's business was unlicensed and uninsured."

Also charged were:
Frank Micalizzi, 50, doing business as Messina Construction, Inc., out of both 1614 Wesley Avenue, Merrick and 2651 Woods Avenue, Oceanside. Micalizzi was the subject of two complaints, one for failing to complete driveway, sidewalk and walkway renovations, another for accepting a $3,000 deposit, then failing to do the work or refund the deposit.

Paul Bruno, 47, doing business as Bruno Painting and Home Restoration, located at 18 Berkshire Road in Bethpage. Bruno was the subject of a complaint for doing shoddy and incomplete shingle replacement on a Hewlett home.

Tommy Gonzales, 29, doing business as Classic Lawn Design, 24 Washington Avenue, Port Jefferson Station. Gonzales was the subject of a complaint for accepting a $2,000 deposit for a lawn sprinkler system at an East Hills home, then failing to either do the job or return the deposit.

Edward Paige, 64, doing business as Edward Paige Plumbing and Heating Contractor, 33-90 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn. Paige was the subject of a complaint from an Est Meadow homeowner who had paid him $44,000 for numerous home improvements, which were all either poorly done or left undone.

Reginald Thornton, 37, doing business as Reggie Price Construction, 201 North Columbus Avenue, Freeport. Thornton was the subject of a complaint from a Uniondale homeowner who paid him more than $28,000 to install two bedrooms and do a bathroom renovation. The work was done slowly and sporadically, and finally stopped altogether when the homeowner refused to lay out any more money.

Carmelo Puccio, 58, doing business as Carmelo and Sons Contracting, 73-31 67th Road, Middle Village. Puccio was the subject of a complaint from a Franklin Square homeowner who paid him more than $120,000 for extensive renovations following a fire. The work was not completed, and the homeowner found that what was done was done poorly, using inferior materials.

Oliver Bacon, 38, of 50 Willow Avenue, Freeport. Bacon was the subject of a complaint from a Freeport homeowner who paid him to do a power washing and painting of the exterior of the house. The power washing was done, but the painting was not.

All the defendants are charged with Operating a Home Improvement Business Without a License, a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

"Once again, when investigating complaints about incomplete and poorly done home improvement work," Dillon said, "we find the business operators to be unlicensed. This should put all home owners on alert. Before contracting with someone to do work on your house - and especially before paying them any money - be sure that they are licensed home improvement companies."

Commissioner Bogsted urged homeowners to contact the Department of Consumer Affairs at (516) 571-2600, to check the legitimacy of a home improvement company or to register a complaint about incomplete or unsatisfactory work.