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Three Charged in New Canaan Chimney Scam

Correction: This story has been updated from an earlier version. The van in the story was not registered to Chimney Corners.

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Three New York men accused of posing as workers from a chimney repair company were charged Friday with trying to defraud a New Canaan couple out of $2,600, police report.

James S. Lewkowicz, 38, of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., Jonathan Torres, 26, of Lake Grove, N.Y., and Todd R. Darrell, 27, of Sound Beach, N.Y., faces charges of illegal sales without a permit, doing craftsman work without a license, second-degree reckless endangerment and criminal impersonation. Darrell was arrested on nine charges, Lewkowicz and Torres on eight.  

Police said a Sheridan Drive couple had made an appointment on Friday to have their chimney cleaned by Chimney Corners, a company the couple had used previously. Police said the homeowners had been contacted by a man saying he worked for the company. Police said three men arrived at the home and inspected the chimney. After the inspection, police said, Lewkowicz, who said he was the manager of Chimney Corners, gave the homeowners a $2,600 estimate to make needed repairs. The couple were suspicious because they did not recognize the men. They became alarmed when Lewkowicz asked them to make the check out in his name.

After they wrote the check and the men left, the couple contacted Chimney Corners, who told them the men did not work for the company. The homeowners contacted their bank and put a stop payment on the check.

Police said Lewkowicz called the homeowner minutes later and said he could not cash the check. Police said the three men returned to Sheridan Drive to collect payment, but were met by officers. The trio said they worked for another company, not Chimney Corners.

Lewkowicz and Darrell were released on $50,000 bonds, and Torres was released after posting $30,000 bond. All three are scheduled to appear on May 30 in Norwalk Superior Court.

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