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Contractor pleads guilty to defrauding Queens homeowners

A Long island contractor pleads guilty to scamming nearly a dozen Queens homeowners.
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A Long Island building contractor has entered a guilty plea to defrauding Queens and Long Island homeowners and leaving a trail of unfinished home improvement projects, the Queens district attorney said.

“The defendant has pleaded guilty to having defrauded homeowners out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking money for construction and renovation work without finishing much of the work,” said DA Richard Brown.

Brown identified the defendant as Derrick Burrell, 49, also known as James Gray, of Saint Marks Avenue in Rockville Centre, LI, who worked under the name “A Team Property Service.”

He said Burrell pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny and scheme to defraud before Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron, who said he would sentence Burrell to an indeterminate term of 1½ to 4½ years July 20.

The DA said Burrell entered into a contract with nearly a dozen Queens and Long Island residents between February 2009 and July 2015, accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments and leaving residents with unfinished or never-started projects.

“Consumers should be cautious when hiring improvement contractors,” Brown said

“Defective or incomplete home improvements are among the top consumer complaints to my office. Consumers should request and actually check with proper agencies to determine whether they are indeed licensed,” Brown said.

The district attorney said the fraudulent activity can take a heavy toll on the victims.

“In one instance,” Brown said, “a Queens homeowner who had been confined to a wheelchair had her kitchen completely demolished and for nearly a year was forced to prepare meals on a microwave or on a hotplate.”

Posted 5:53 pm, July 14, 2016
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Reader feedback

Tom from Queens says:
One of many goons from Long Island doing the same thing.
July 19, 2016, 7:40 am
Juan from Floral Park, NY says:
The same thing happend to me. Contractor tore out my basement, put up a few wood frames and left the debris and unfinished job. He did take half the cash, $3,400, up front though. He won't return calls or emails.

Who is defending tax paying, hard working homeowners? How can we get some reprieve from these vultures?

I need my basement finished.
July 19, 2016, 10:19 am
make them finish from queens says:
Before the scum goes to prison they should either be forced to finish the jobs or they should sell off all of their assets to make restitution. Putting them in prison at tax payer expense makes no sense.
July 19, 2016, 10:21 am
Jim from Bayside says:
Guess it hasn't occurred to those 'homeowners' to check licensures with the city/county before hiring. Many of these people see 'cheap' and they go 'YAY!' without a second thought. Same goes for hiring contractors from angie's list, craigslist, timesledger, qns.com et al.
July 20, 2016, 3:10 am

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