Two Long Island men were arraigned Monday on charges related to home improvement scams they pulled on Queens residents, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Tuesday.
Derrick Burrell, 49, Rockville Centre, “is accused of defrauding two Queens homeowners out of more than $25,000 by taking money for construction work and not following through with the completion of the renovation projects,” Brown said in a news release.
Calling himself James Gray of A Team Property Services, Burrell entered into a contract in August of 2015 with a 74-year-old woman looking to have her kitchen demolished and rebuilt to be wheelchair-accessible, prosecutors said.
Burrell took more than $11,000 from the woman, prosecutors said, and a subcontractor demolished the kitchen by mid-September, but the rebuilding work was never done.
Also charged was the actual James Gray, 54, of Uniondale, who in December 2014 approached a different resident, one who wanted a fence built, and saying he was also with A Team Property Services, Brown said.
Gray referred the resident to Burrell, who in turn “collected $6,000 to build a fence and another $7,500 in August 2015 to tear down a garage and rebuild it on a second property,” with neither constructed, Brown said.
Burrell was charged in Queens Criminal Court “with third-degree misappropriation of funds or trust as a larceny, third-degree grand larceny, and second-degree criminal impersonation and conducting or operating a home improvement business without a license,” Brown said. Ordered held on $150,000 bail, he is next due in court on May 31.
Attorney for both men could not be reached for comment Monday night.
Gray was charged “with third-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud and conducting or operating a home improvement business without a license,” Brown said. Gray was released on his own recognizance, and is next due in court on May 31.
“Defective or incomplete home improvement repairs are among the top consumers’ complaints to my office,” Brown said in the news release. “To avoid being a victim of a home repair scheme, consumers should request and actually check a contractor’s references and check with the proper agencies to ensure the person they are hiring is indeed licensed.”