DA: East Rockaway man charged in 2nd driveway repair scam
An East Rockaway man has been arrested for the second time in six weeks on charges of bilking the elderly out of tens of thousands of dollars by taking money to repair their driveways and failing to do the work, Nassau prosecutors said Tuesday.
Robert Cohan, 26, took almost $78,000 in several installments last summer from a 73-year-old woman who lived on Brower Avenue in Woodmere and promised to repair her driveway, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement.
Cohan did paint the woman's deck and repaired some cracks in the home's foundation but never fixed the driveway, Rice said. He was arrested Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree grand larceny at his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead, the district attorney's office said.
Judge Colin O'Donnell set bail at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond and adjourned the case until Thursday, the district attorney's office said. Cohan's attorney, Edward Jenks of Mineola, said Cohan's family posted bail and his client was released in late afternoon.
Cohan faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
"The case is similar in nature to the original arrest, and he maintains some services were performed for the money received," Jenks said. "The question is what is the value of those services."
Cohan, of 705 Scranton Ave., had been arrested by police June 1 and charged with bilking 89-year-old twin brothers in Seaford out of $118,000 last fall. He pleaded not guilty.
In the latest case, Cohan told the woman he could repair her damaged driveway for $78,600 but needed the cash up-front, Rice said. He promised the woman he would get her an $88,600 rebate from New York State, leaving her with a new driveway and $10,000 to boot, Rice said.
"When the victim complained that no work had been done and that she had not received the promised rebate, Cohan made repeated excuses as to why he had not been able to pay her the money," Rice said.
Eventually, the woman filed a complaint with Rice's office.