DA: N.J. man scammed LI contractor out of $75,000
A New Jersey man was arrested Thursday morning and charged with scamming a Long Island contractor out of $75,000 that was supposed to pay for new windows in a Lido Beach home, prosecutors said.
Scott Brown, 50, of Point Pleasant, N.J., was arrested by district attorney investigators and charged with second-degree grand larceny. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 5 to 15 years in prison.
He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead. Judge Eric Bjorneby set bail at $10,000 cash or bond.
Brown's lawyer, Edward Robertson, of St. James, could not immediately be reached for comment. Brown is due back in court on Aug. 7.
Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement that last summer, Brown, who owns Retail Renovation LLC. in Manasquan, N.J., lied to a Long Island contractor, saying he was an authorized window dealer. The contractor agreed to pay Brown $75,000 to purchase and install the high-end windows in a new home in Lido Beach.
Brown told the contractor he would have the windows ready for installation in approximately 12 weeks, prosecutors said.
After receiving a $40,000 down payment in July 2012 and the remaining $35,000 the following month, Brown deposited the money into his bank account without ever ordering the windows, prosecutors said. Brown's bank records indicate that he used some of the stolen funds to pay for personal expenses, such as credit card bills, fishing gear, restaurants and trips to Florida, as well as for business supplies.
Brown returned to the Lido Beach site in December 2012 and told the contractor that he had never ordered the windows because his sister had stolen the money. When Brown refused to return the money, the contractor contacted the district attorney's office, prosecutors said.
"The sheer amount of money stolen in such a brazen manner meant that it was only a matter of time before this defendant's lies and excuses caught up with him," Rice said.