A contractor from West Islip was charged Wednesday with a $140,000 rip-off of a 74-year-old woman who suffered serious injuries falling down her stairs because he never built a first-floor bathroom she paid for.
Ron Scott "never even so much as hammered a nail" after receiving $143,500 from Lillian Miller of St. Albans, Queens, in August 2007 to build an extension to her house because she could no longer safely reach her second-floor restroom, according to a complaint in Queens Criminal Court.
"As a result, the victim seriously hurt her shoulders, back and legs a few months ago when she fell down the stairs while attempting to use the upstairs bathroom," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
Scott, 68, who operates businesses named Phoenix International Construction Co. and US Builder NYC in West Babylon, faces charges of grand larceny misappropriation and possession of stolen property, according to the district attorney.
Brown said it's usually a bad idea to pay in advance for home repairs.
"To avoid being a victim of a home repair scheme, consumers should request and check a contractor's references," he said. "Any contract payments given to a contractor should be put into an escrow account in a bank. Contractors should also avoid paying for a remodeling job upfront."
Jeffrey Davis, who was appointed to represent Scott at his arraignment, said he pleaded not guilty and was held until he posts $25,000 in cash or a bond.
Davis had no comment on the district attorney's charges.