Jared and Elizabeth Zinna say the developers of their home in...

Jared and Elizabeth Zinna say the developers of their home in Ridge diverted proceeds to other projects, leaving their house unfinished. Credit: John Roca

Investors, homebuyers and a construction worker are among those suing the developers of a 40-unit Ridge subdivision with allegations that include fraud, unsafe working conditions and a claim by some residents who say it took much longer than expected to finish their homes.

Developers William Dollard, his brother Brian Dollard, Michael Cave and their various businesses, including StrongArm Ventures LLC, are named in previously unreported lawsuits filed in state Supreme Court in Suffolk County relating to the North Fork Gateway development. The project, off Wading River Hollow Road just north of Cliffwood Lane in Ridge, offers luxury single-family new construction homes ranging from $729,999 to $779,999, according to its website.

Jared Zinna sold his home in Shirley and in May 2022 entered a contract to build a 2,260-square-foot home in the North Fork Gateway community under the promise it would be finished within six months, according to court papers. Two years later, the house still does not have a certificate of occupancy, Zinna said.

A complaint filed on behalf of Zinna’s wife, Elizabeth, last month alleges the couple took out a construction loan and the developers diverted the proceeds to other projects while leaving their home unfinished. Jared Zinna, who owns an HVAC company, said he has spent tens of thousands of dollars to finish the home, which he said the developers essentially “abandoned,” all while he paid interest on the construction loan.

“We’re living in my mother-in-law's house for two years in a small, tight space — three kids, my wife and me,” he told Newsday. “We’re watching my house and nothing is getting done.”

Zinna's attorney, Robert Del Col, of Hauppauge, who also represents several investors suing the developers, did not respond to a request for comment.

Additionally, Del Col last month filed a complaint on behalf of Keith Shapiro, who closed on a Miller Place home built by the Dollards and Cave in August. Shapiro, who declined to comment, alleges they breached their contractual obligations and delivered a home described in a civil complaint as an “uninhabitable mess.”

Shapiro and Zinna's lawsuits add to a litany of claims the project developers are already facing.

A lawsuit filed Jan. 23 by investors Frank Costanza, his brother Angelo Costanza and Joseph DeLuca, alleges “this entire deal was a scheme."

The three claim Cave and his wife, attorney Jennifer Reilly, defrauded them out of a combined $3.3 million. Cave allegedly took the money in 2021 promising the plaintiffs a piece of ownership in the project and instead offered them stakes in shell companies that do not have assets, according to the complaint.

"Defendant Cave never intended on giving plaintiffs anything whatsoever,” it states. “He was out to steal their money and that’s all there is to it.”

Dollard and Cave’s attorneys, Steven Pinks and Teresa White, of Hauppauge, declined to comment on the cases, but have denied the claims in court papers.

They have tried to have the Costanzas’ complaint dismissed and argue in a counter claim that the brothers “maliciously” tried to destroy the defendants' reputation by disseminating the complaint to entities the developers do business with.

A separate March lawsuit filed by Cave alleges the Costanza brothers, their cousin Louis Coico, their friend Eugene Fernandez, and DeLuca tried to extort $6.5 million from Cave during an Oct. 24 meeting at his Plainview office. The Costanzas, Coico and Fernandez allegedly detained him for 90 minutes and at one point threatened “to stab him in the neck and beat him with a piece of a broken guitar,” according to the complaint.

Cave’s mother-in-law, Marianne Rosner, said a few days later Frank Costanza, whom she had previously considered a family friend, gave her a note with a list of demands and said if they did not comply a “van will grab Mike with 2 Black guys and you will never see him again,” according to an affidavit.

Construction worker Jeovanny Vargas Flores, who fell off a ladder and was injured while working at the development on March 1, is also suing North Fork Gateway, claiming the developers were negligent for failing to provide proper workplace protection.

His attorney, Paul Edelman, of Westbury, could not be reached for comment.

The matters are all pending in court.

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

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