Bucks County authorities allege Shawn Nicola – AKA Shawn Gerety — ripped off property owners in Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties in 2014 and 2015.
A Lancaster County contractor faces practically two dozen felonies for allegedly committing more than a 50 percent-million dollars in residence advancement fraud in Bucks and encompassing counties in 2014 and 2015.
Warrington law enforcement and Bucks County Detectives allege Shawn Nicola, 48, of Strasburg, previously known as Shawn Gerety, ripped off at the very least nine owners together with two in Bucks County and just one in Abington Township, Montgomery County.
Nicola, the proprietor and operator of Build Pattern LLC, is also accused of defrauding a home owner in Lower Merion, Montgomery County, a few in Delaware County and two in Chester County.
Warrington police opened an investigation into Nicola, then recognized as Gerety, in September 2015, following a house owner there alleged that the contractor accepted $163,000 in payments toward a challenge, but completed little or no work before he deserted it, in accordance to a probable bring about affidavit.
The couple told police they located Nicola’s company on an on line home enhancement referral support and hired him in March 2015 to make a 2nd-floor addition with basement and renovate a bathroom.
3 months into the venture, the believed charge experienced increased by around $40,000, but small do the job experienced been finished, according to the affidavit.
Nicola stopped returning calls, took down his corporation site and filed for individual bankruptcy in September 2015, courtroom documents allege.
The couple allege they finished up shelling out one more $72,664 to finish the job.
In their investigation, authorities discovered Nicola experienced quite a few companies registered as household enhancement contractors with the Pennsylvania Lawyer General’s Business.
Considering the fact that 2009, Pennsylvania has necessary all household enhancement contractors that conduct at minimum $5,000 in do the job each year in the state to sign up with the state.
BuildTREND Design was registered with the point out in 2010 BuildTREND Investments was registered in 2015. TIG Construction, a third small business involved with Gerety/Nicola, was registered in 2015 as effectively, according to authorities.
There was no listing below BuildTREND LLC, Shawn Nicola or Shawn Gerety on the Pennsylvania Lawyer General’s Office contractor registration web site as of Friday.
Investigators figured out that Nicola had many civil judgments versus him as early as 2014 and he submitted for individual bankruptcy in 1995 and 2010, but did not included any of that facts on his contractor registration application as required below the legislation.
His area victims bundled Doylestown residents who employed BuildTREND in February 2015 to broaden the second story of their household and demolish an existing hooked up garage for $148,000.
The householders, who assert they gave Nicola $87,871 in innovative payments, explained to investigators they estimate Nicola’s staff members did 3 times of function involving Could and July, generally demolishing the garage, kitchen area and staircase.
In September, 2015, the challenge manager and a subcontractor told them that BuildTREND was filing for individual bankruptcy.
The pair claim they paid out another contractor just about $68,000 to comprehensive the challenge, courtroom paperwork reported.
The Abington property owner alleges Nicola did no operate soon after she compensated him a $46,454 deposit in February 2015 on a around $100,000 job to create a 2nd ground addition and transform a basement and lavatory, according to authorities.
When the homeowner asked Nicola for a refund, he informed her he could permit his organization go on the venture or get a partial refund of $18,000, in accordance to court files.
Authorities explained that most just lately Nicola pleaded responsible in 2017 to home enhancement fraud in New Castle County, Delaware, and received a two-year suspended sentence.
The future 12 months, he submitted to transform his identify to Nicola with the U.S. Embassy in London, court docket documents mentioned.
Nicola faces 20 felony counts which include theft by deception, misleading business practices and trying to receive progress payment for companies and failing to accomplish.
His preliminary hearing for subsequent thirty day period right before district Judge Jean Seaman.
He remains free of charge on $100,000 unsecured bail with a affliction he not carry out any enterprise in Pennsylvania.