A Bellmore man who was paid $7,000 for home exterior work that he failed to perform was charged Tuesday, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas has announced.
Investigators arrested and charged Joseph Policaro, 41, with third-degree grand larceny and operating a home improvement business without a license, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office.
“This defendant claimed to be a contractor and stole thousands from a Bellmore resident for home improvement work that he never performed,” Singas said in a statement.
On July 25 of last year, the homeowner entered into a contract with Policaro, the release said. When the work did not begin as scheduled, Policaro made excuses, claiming he was “running late” or was “delayed,” officials said.
The investigation revealed that Policaro spent the homeowner’s money on an assortment of unrelated debit card purchases at Walmart, Speedway, Stop & Shop, gas stations and convenience stores, prosecutors said. He also allegedly used the money to pay vendors for expenses.
In March, the homeowner filed a complaint with the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs, which referred the case to the district attorney.
Policaro was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead and released Tuesday on his own recognizance, officials said. He is due back in court Sept. 1.
If convicted, Policaro could face up to 7 years in prison.