MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a home improvement contractor from Smithtown has been arrested for allegedly scamming Superstorm Sandy victims out of more than $110,000.
Lee Moser, 49, was arraigned before Judge Paul Meli and charged with:
- Five counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a D felony)
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E Felony)
- Two counts of Operating a Home Improvement Business without a License (an A misdemeanor)
Bail was set at $5,000 bond or $2,000 cash and the defendant is due back in court January 23. If convicted of the top count, he faces 2-1/3 years to seven years in prison.
“The defendant allegedly victimized these homeowners after they experienced one of the worst natural disasters in recent memory,” DA Singas said. “Anyone who feels like they have been targeted by an unscrupulous contractor is urged to contact my office or the Office of Consumer Affairs and report the incident.”
DA Singas said that from April 2015 to August 2016 the defendant signed contracts with five Nassau County homeowners to perform work on their homes that had been severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy. In most of the cases, the complainants wrote the defendant a down payment check, with New York Rising funds, made payable to his business, Capstone Remodeling. Instead of performing the work as promised, Moser allegedly provided excuses as to why the work had not started, including that he was in the hospital or caring for his sick mother. In total, the defendant is accused of stealing $113,485 from the complainants. Moser allegedly spent the money on gasoline, restaurants, telephone service and other expenditures to continue running his business unrelated to the homeowners’ respective contracts.
The Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs sent complaints from the five victims to the NCDA between June 2016 and April 2017 and an investigation by our office immediately commenced. To date, the defendant, who is currently unlicensed, never repaid any of the homeowners. However, they all were re-issued funds from New York Rising.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a home improvement scam is encouraged to call the NCDA Tip Line at (516) 571-7755.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Contreras of DA Singas’ Government and Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented by Brian Trodden, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.