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July 10, 2003

DA Dillon, Commissioner Bogsted Announce Charges Against 26 Home Improvement Contractors

Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon and Nassau County Commissioner of Consumer Affairs Roger Bogsted announced today that 26 individuals have recently been charged with Operating a Home Improvement Business Without a License.

"As usual," Dillon said, "these individuals were brought to our attention through the complaints of homeowners who had paid them for home improvement work that was never satisfactorily completed. Often these defendants left homes in a state of permanent, and even dangerous, disrepair."

The operation culminated with the arrest today of William Etter, doing business as Home Construction Services, 4 New Hyde Park Road, Suite 5, Franklin Square. According to Dillon, "Etter is charged with two counts of Operating a Home Improvement Business Without a License. In one instance, Etter accepted a $27,500 check from a Massapequa homeowner toward the total cost of $50,000 for an extension on the home. After having the foundation hole dug in January of 2002, he did not have the cement block for the foundation put in until July - and then it did not pass inspection. Moreover, the pile of dirt from the digging in January was left in the yard until the following October. Then, after doing no work between August and November, he told the homeowners that he needed more money for building materials. When they refused, they never heard from him again. In the second instance, Etter accepted $7,500 toward the total cost of $30,000 for replacement of a two car garage on a Great Neck home. He had the original garage demolished, but no one ever returned to build the new one. In addition, the homeowners were informed by the Town that no permit had been obtained for the work - even though Etter had assured them that this had been done. Finally, Etter never paid the demolition and carting company that he had hired to demolish the original garage, and they subsequently billed the homeowners for $1,500."

Arrested earlier this week was Steven Hart, doing business as Flooring World, 35 17th Street, Jericho. According to Dillon, "Hart is charged with three counts of Operating a Home Improvement Business Without a License. In each instance, he was paid the full amount for flooring work which was either not completed or done poorly and never repaired. In one instance, the floor was left so unlevel that the homeowner reported falling out of a rolling chair. Hart promised to either repair the floor or refund the homeowners' money ($3,211.08), but did neither. Instead, two refund checks bounced."

"Another particularly egregious offender," Dillon said, "is James Vollaro, doing business as Vollaro Contracting, Inc., 307-5 Hicksville Road, Bethpage. Vollaro contracted with a Hicksville homeowner to renovate her garage into a living space, with bathroom, for her handicapped son. She paid him $23,500 in cash toward the total cost of $27,055. Yet very little work was done, and what was done was done badly. The bathroom was only partially completed, walls that Vollaro broke open were left broken, wires were left dangling and exposed, and damage was caused to the house. After failing to return numerous phone calls, Vollaro finally promised to return to continue the work, but he never did." Vollaro is charged with one count of Operating a Home Improvement Business Without a License.

"These are just a few examples of the kind of the rip-offs that homeowners leave themselves open to when they deal with unlicensed contractors," said Bogsted. "I urge homeowners to contact the Department of Consumer Affairs at (516) 571-2600 to check out any home improvement companies with whom they are considering doing business."

Others charged were:
Ted Hoffman, Siding By Ted, 666 Nightingale Road, West Hempstead.
Michael E. Pedone, M.E. Pedone, 332 Jayne Boulevard, Port Jefferson.
Timothy Schneider, Schneider's 42 North Street, Huntington Station.
Martin Cerullo, M.C. Discount Tree Service, 2944 Valentine Place, Wantagh.
Matthew C. Lowery, All State Contracting, 158 Park Avenue, Garden City Park.
Jack Ceechcrran, NP Home Improvements, 104-39 118th Street, South Richmond Hill.
Anthony Selvester, Anthony Selvester's Installations, 210 Chelsea Ave. West Babylon.
Todd Schwartz, S & S Pools & Spas, 21 Lesley Lane, Old Bethpage.
Albert Crisostome, Start II Finish, 14 Pleasure Avenue, Ronkonkoma.
Sal Dorsa, Jr., Elite Euro Painting, 49 Circle Drive, Wheatley Heights.
Glenn Nissensohn, a.k.a. Glenn Teixeira, 1052 Old Town Road, Coram.
Vincent Weiss, Vincent Weiss Roofing and Siding, 61-31 56th Drive, Maspeth.
Frank Micalizzi, Messina Construction, 1614 Wesley Avenue, Merrick.
Tony Randazzo, Thunder Tree Landscaping Specialist, 415 Lincoln Avenue, Brooklyn. Glenroy Bramble, Bramble Designs, 17 Leverich Street, Hempstead.
Jaroslow Wozinski, European Standard Corp., 463 North Lake Boulevard, Mahopac.
Peter Spinelli, All Building II Contracting, 29 West 26th Street, 7th Floor, New York.
Peter Benson, 121 Dodgers Promenade, Lindenhurst.
Steven R. Angevine, a.k.a. Steven Ware, North Shore Home Improvement, 407 Fifth
Avenue, East Northport.
Bruce Oxer, 6 Bear Lane, Locust Valley.
Steven M. Miller, North Site Construction, 1308 Court North Drive, Melville.
Tony Mele, 147 Watch Hill Road, Cortlandt Manor.
Robert Keeler, Keeler Fence, 431 Hamilton Avenue, Hewlett.