Bucks County authorities allege Shawn Nicola – AKA Shawn Gerety — ripped off owners in Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties in 2014 and 2015.
A Lancaster County contractor faces approximately two dozen felonies for allegedly committing much more than a half-million pounds in dwelling advancement fraud in Bucks and encompassing counties in 2014 and 2015.
Warrington police and Bucks County Detectives allege Shawn Nicola, 48, of Strasburg, previously known as Shawn Gerety, ripped off at minimum nine property owners which includes two in Bucks County and one particular in Abington Township, Montgomery County.
Nicola, the proprietor and operator of Develop Trend LLC, is also accused of defrauding a home-owner in Reduce Merion, Montgomery County, three in Delaware County and two in Chester County.
Warrington police opened an investigation into Nicola, then regarded as Gerety, in September 2015, following a home-owner there alleged that the contractor recognized $163,000 in payments toward a challenge, but completed minimal or no operate prior to he deserted it, according to a possible lead to affidavit.
The few told police they uncovered Nicola’s enterprise on an on-line house enhancement referral company and employed him in March 2015 to construct a second-ground addition with basement and renovate a lavatory.
3 months into the project, the estimated value had improved by about $40,000, but very little do the job experienced been completed, according to the affidavit.
Nicola stopped returning phone calls, took down his business website and submitted for bankruptcy in September 2015, courtroom paperwork allege.
The few allege they finished up having to pay another $72,664 to complete the position.
In their investigation, authorities located Nicola had various providers registered as household enhancement contractors with the Pennsylvania Legal professional General’s Workplace.
Considering that 2009, Pennsylvania has essential all house advancement contractors that perform at minimum $5,000 in work per year in the condition to register with the condition.
BuildTREND Design was registered with the condition in 2010 BuildTREND Investments was registered in 2015. TIG Building, a 3rd organization associated with Gerety/Nicola, was registered in 2015 as perfectly, according to authorities.
There was no listing under BuildTREND LLC, Shawn Nicola or Shawn Gerety on the Pennsylvania Legal professional General’s Business office contractor registration website as of Friday.
Investigators realized that Nicola experienced numerous civil judgments towards him as early as 2014 and he submitted for individual bankruptcy in 1995 and 2010, but did not provided any of that facts on his contractor registration application as expected under the law.
His nearby victims bundled Doylestown inhabitants who employed BuildTREND in February 2015 to extend the second tale of their household and demolish an existing connected garage for $148,000.
The property owners, who assert they gave Nicola $87,871 in superior payments, told investigators they estimate Nicola’s workers did 3 times of get the job done involving Could and July, typically demolishing the garage, kitchen area and staircase.
In September, 2015, the undertaking manager and a subcontractor informed them that BuildTREND was submitting for bankruptcy.
The pair assert they compensated another contractor almost $68,000 to total the undertaking, courtroom files reported.
The Abington house owner alleges Nicola did no do the job just after she paid him a $46,454 deposit in February 2015 on a about $100,000 project to develop a next flooring addition and rework a basement and toilet, in accordance to authorities.
When the house owner requested Nicola for a refund, he instructed her he could permit his corporation carry on the task or get a partial refund of $18,000, according to courtroom files.
Authorities claimed that most not too long ago Nicola pleaded responsible in 2017 to dwelling improvement fraud in New Castle County, Delaware, and received a two-year suspended sentence.
The following year, he filed to change his title to Nicola with the U.S. Embassy in London, court docket paperwork claimed.
Nicola faces 20 felony counts which includes theft by deception, deceptive business procedures and making an attempt to acquire progress payment for companies and failing to perform.
His preliminary listening to for up coming thirty day period right before district Decide Jean Seaman.
He stays free on $100,000 unsecured bail with a problem he not perform any small business in Pennsylvania.