District Attorney

Posted on: August 23, 2016

Unlicensed Home Contractor Arrested for Taking Money for Work He Never Performed

Joseph Policaro Allegedly Took $7,000 and Repeatedly Told Victim He was “Running Late” or “Delayed”

Mineola, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney announced that a Bellmore man was arrested today for a “take the money and run” scam, in which he allegedly took $7,000 from a homeowner for home improvement work that he did not perform.

Joseph Policaro, 41, of Bellmore was arrested today by NCDA investigators and charged with grand larceny in the third degree (a D felony) and operating a home improvement business without a license (an A misdemeanor). If convicted, he faces a maximum of 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison.  He is due back in court on September 1 and was released on his own recognizance.

“This defendant claimed to be a contractor and stole thousands from a Bellmore resident for home improvement work that he never performed,” said DA Singas. “Today’s arrest serves as a reminder to the public to check contractors’ licenses before hiring them, and a warning to unscrupulous contractors that those who scam Nassau residents will be prosecuted.”

On July 25, 2015 the homeowner entered into a contract with Policaro to perform home improvement work on the exterior of the home, and paid the defendant $7,000. When the work did not begin as scheduled, the defendant allegedly made excuses claiming that he was “running late or he was “delayed.”  The complainant filed a complaint with the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs, which then referred the case to the NCDA’s office for investigation in March 2016.

The investigation revealed that Mr. Policaro allegedly spent the homeowner’s funds on expenses unrelated to the complainant’s home including assorted debit card purchases for personal expenses at Wal-Mart, Speedway, Stop & Shop, gas stations and convenience stores. He also paid vendors for expenses unrelated to the complainant.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Contreras of DA Singas’ Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case. Mr. Policaro is represented by Adam Neal, Esq.

The charges are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

District Attorney Singas reminded homeowners of the following tips for hiring a contractor. They are available in full click here.

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