Contractor pleads guilty to bilking Sandy victims of more than $170K: DA

Contractor pleads guilty to bilking Sandy victims of more than $170K: DA
A contractor bilked three families in the Rockaways whose homes were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy of more than $170,000, according to the Queens DA.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
By Naeisha Rose

Andrew Troiano, a former L.I. resident, was sentenced up to three years in prison for the grand larceny of over $170,000 from three Superstorm Sandy (2012) couples he promised new homes in the Rockaways, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

Troiano pleaded guilty to in September 2017 to the crimes committed from July 19, 2013 to June 26, 2014, according to DA Richard Brown’s office.

“In pleading guilty, the defendant admitted he ripped off people who had already had their lives destroyed by a natural disaster. Then, he came along offering to build them new homes to start over,” said Brown.

Two of the families lived in Breezy Point and the third resided at Rockaway Point, according to Brown. Both neighborhoods are at the western tip of the Rockaway Peninsula.

On July 19, 2013 at Fulton Walk, in Breezy Point, Troiano was hired to build a new homeon the couple’s property and on April 2014 a concrete foundation was poured, according to the charges. The owners were billed for $58,500 and paid the full sum.

Instead of finishing the project, or paying the cement sub-contractor and the crane sub-contractor who actually did the heavy lifting, Troiano disappeared and a lien was put on the couple’s property by the crane company, according to the charges.

Four days after being hired by the Fulton Walk couple, Troiano entered into another contract with a couple from Graham Place, also in Breezy Point, according to Brown.

He promised the couple a modular home and said that payment was due upon completion of certain work, according to the charges. Troiano returned in March 2014, and hired another contractor to pour cement and billed the couple $63,750 for the concrete foundation, which they paid in full.

Once again the sub-contractor and his company did not receive pay and Troiano was not to be heard from again, according to the charges.

The defendant entered into a third contract with a couple from Hillside Avenue in Rockaway Point, and promised to erect a modular home on their property on Jan. 27, 2014, according to charges.

The couple initially paid $30,000 and $15,975 so that work could get started on their property, according to Brown. Troiano was required to do pre-construction work for the project, a soil test, wetland study and a foundation design, and the Hillside pair paid the contractor for those bills.

Troiano later assured them that he would rush the construction of their home if he was paid up front, and after they gave him an additional $55,000 on June 26, it was discovered that the firm slated to design the home was never paid so drawings for project were not created, according to the charges. Once again, he had walked away from an uncompleted project.

“He signed contracts, accepted their money and vanished. These three Queens families trusted the defendant, but instead of providing them with new homes he left them with vacant lots, empty promises and depleted bank accounts,” said Brown.

A forensic review of Troiano’s bank account showed the money he obtained being used to do electrical work on a different property, pay cell phone and cable bills, make purchases at liquor stores and restaurants, make payments to his attorney and a total of $8,000 in cash withdrawals.

Allison Wright, a supervisor in the DA’s Economic Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case and Judge Barry Kron, a Queens criminal court justice, was the one who sentenced Troiano July 13 to three years.

“The defendant will now go to prison to be punished for his crimes,” said Brown.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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