A Long Island contractor faces grand larceny and other charges for bilking more than $300,000 from three families whose homes were destroyed by superstorm Sandy, Queens County prosecutors said on Thursday.
Both the contractor, Andrew Troiano, 54, of Lake Grove and his firm, Nesconset-based Alt Design Construction and Consulting Inc., were charged in the grand jury’s indictment.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown in a statement said the defendant violated the trust the families placed in him when they paid him “large sums of money” to build new homes from 2013 to 2014.
“But instead of providing them with new places in which to live, these families were left with vacant lots, empty promises and depleted bank accounts,” he charged.
Two of the families who were victimized lived in Breezy Point and the third lived in Rockaway Point, prosecutors said.
An audit of Troiano’s Chase bank account, which had a negative balance before a couple paid him $55,000, showed no subcontractors were paid, Brown asserted.
“The only debits were for unrelated matters, including electrical work on a different property, cellphone and cable bill payments, purchases at liquor stores and restaurants, as well as payments to an attorney.”
And more than $8,000 of cash was withdrawn, he said.
“One family’s nightmare was made even worse when a subcontractor — allegedly hired by the defendant — placed a lien on their property due to an outstanding bill that they had allegedly paid directly to the defendant,” Brown asserted.
On Tuesday, Troiano was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice James Griffin on a 13-count indictment.
Released on his own recognizance, the defendant is due back in court on Oct 28.
Troiano could not be reached for comment.
The maximum prison sentence he could face if convicted is 15 years. Troiano’s firm could be fined as much as $10,000 or double the amount of the illegal gain, if convicted of a felony.