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Two Contractors Accused of Cheating Superstorm Sandy Victims

Two men are facing multiple charges after allegedly taking $250,000 from storm victims - and never completing the work.

Wed October 14, 2015 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - The owners of a southern New Jersey construction company cheated Superstorm Sandy victims out of more than $250,000, authorities said.

Michael Albanese, 52, and George Larosa, 46, are each charged with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft, Stafford Township police said. The charges stem from a five-month investigation of the two Barnegat men, who operate GL Construction.

Bail was set at $150,000 for each man, and it wasn’t known Sunday if they have retained attorneys. Authorities said the investigation is ongoing, and more charges could be filed.

The Stafford-based firm allegedly accepted deposits and cash payments between March 2014 and July 2015 from numerous people for house raisings, renovations and new construction. But authorities said the men didn’t complete the work and instead transferred the money into their personal checking counts.

The two are accused of diverting more than $257,850. Authorities said the money was used to complete renovations on four investment properties the men owned in Stafford and Brigantine.

Both men have been ordered to surrender any home improvement contractor licenses and are not allowed to accept any additional jobs.

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