A Staten Island, NY contractor who stands accused of bilking Rumson homeowners of nearly $37,000 in post Hurricane Sandy work deposits is being held at Monmouth County Correctional Institution in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Frank Lewery, 51, of the Tottenville section of Staten Island, was arrested on Thrusday and charged with two counts of third degree theft by failure to make required disposition, one count of third degree forgery, and one count of fourth degree failure to register with the Division of Consumer Affairs.
Lewery, doing business as FTK Contracting and FTK Developers, allegedly defrauded the Rumson homeowners of the near $37,000 in deposit money when he entered into a contract with them in November of 2012, took their money and failed to use it for the repairs, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced in a release.
On Feb. 14, 2013, the homeowners gave Lewery a check totaling $33,333, and another check on March 13, 2013 totaling $55,000 for work and materials related to the project, the release said.
On April 2, 2013, the homeowners provided Lewery with an additional check totaling $6,655.36 for the purchase of a granite counter top, it added.
In June 2013, when the work was not completed, the Rumson homeowners reported the suspected fraudulent conduct and an investigation was launched.
The investigation revealed that Lewery had cashed the checks at check-cashing facilities on Staten Island and in Brooklyn, failed to place orders for the materials needed for the project, forged a check, and also asked a kitchen designer to lie about a non-existent order, the release said.
The investigation also revealed Lewery was never registered with the state Division of Consumer Affairs as a Home Improvement Contractor.If you suspect fraud, the Prosecutor's Office recommends taking the following:
- The Task Force webpage at www.SandyFraud.com
- Call the Task Force hotline at (855) SANDY 39.
- Visit the Task Force Command Center, located in the Bayshore Activity Center at Bayshore Waterfront Park, 719 Port Monmouth Road, in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown Township. Command Center hours are Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.