Suspended Home Contractor Charged With Scamming Same Owners Twice
A home contractor from Oklahoma suspended by New Jersey officials is charged with taking more than $38,000 from owners of a Superstorm-damaged Keansburg home in two separate agreements.
Raymond H. DeSylva, 57, is charged with theft by deception and failure to register as a home improvement contractor with the state of New Jersey, according to information from the office of acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni.
Investigators said that in March 2013, DeSylva, operating as Eco Earth Friendly Builders, entered into a $44,852 agreement, payable in three installments, to raise the Roosevelt Avenue home. The owners paid the first installment of $14,852, according to authorities.
He was suspended by the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) on July 13, 2013, but neglected to tell the homeowners about it while working out new terms to raise the house above previously-agreed levels, investigators said.
The new deal called for two payments of $24,026, of which the homeowners paid one, bringing the total to $38,878, investigators said.
DeSylva was permanently barred from home improvement work by DCA on September 18, 2013, and ceded his registration,but never raised the house or refunded the owners, authorities said.
He was arrested in May in Oklahoma and brought back to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township, where bail was set at $100,000. If convicted, he could be given up to 18 months in a state prison.