Unlicensed contractor arraigned on charges of defrauding homeowners
An unlicensed contractor from Pennsylvania was arraigned Monday on charges that he stole thousands of dollars from Nassau County homeowners for air conditioning repairs he never did, the district attorney's office said.
Charles Ganzenmuller, 38, of Lords Valley, Pa., was charged with two counts of third-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud and two counts of operating a home improvement business without a license, according to a statement from Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office.
Ganzenmuller, who surrendered Monday, faces a maximum of seven years in prison, if convicted of the top charge. He was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on Thursday, the district attorney's statement said.
"Contractors who blatantly and repeatedly disregard signed contracts with homeowners, as well as flout licensing rules, have no place doing business in Nassau County," said Rice in a statement. "My office will continue its efforts to hold unscrupulous contractors accountable for their crimes and to protect homeowners."
Rice said in the statement that Ganzenmuller solicited and entered into home improvement contracts with multiple Nassau County homeowners between Jan. 4, 2012, and May 25, 2012. When entering into the contracts, Ganzenmuller claimed he owned two companies named "Assured Air Conditioning" and "Alliance Air Conditioning."
On several occasions, he received down-payments but did little to no work, prosecutors said.
In one case, Ganzenmuller, doing business as "Assured Air Conditioning," entered into a contract on May 25, 2012, with an East Rockaway homeowner. Ganzenmuller was paid $5,400 as a down payment on the contract to provide indoor and outdoor cooling units, and other work. After receiving the money, Ganzenmuller did no work, and provided no materials, according to the statement.
According to the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs, neither Ganzenmuller nor his companies had a valid home improvement license at the time he entered into the contracts. Each victim filed a complaint that eventually reached Rice's officer.
Ganzenmuller couldn't be reached for comment Monday night.