A Westchester contractor will spend time behind bars after scamming a family intending to move into the area out of tens of thousands of dollars.
New Rochelle resident Michael Scoca, 54, has been sentenced to a term of between one and a half to three years in state prison after pleading guilty of a scheme to defraud in November last year for his role in bilking a family out of more than $60,000 for work he never completed.
In late 2015, Scoca, claiming to be a general contractor, convinced a family from the Bronx that he would build them their family home in Westchester. He proceeded to tell his victims to provide him with five separate credit cards to pay for materials and construction costs required to build the house, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr., said.
Scarpino said that, instead of completing construction of the home, Scoca instead used his victims’ information and credit card numbers to pay for unrelated business and personal expenses.
Among the things Scoca used the stolen identities for included $3,000 in fees owed to a New Rochelle yacht club, more than a $1,000 for precious metal coins and multiple other purchases totaling thousands of dollars from local retail stores and through Scoca’s personal PayPal account.
In total, in less than two months, Scoca stole nearly $80,000. As part of his sentence, Scoca was also ordered to pay $61,905.51 in restitution to his victims.
This isn’t the first time Scoca has been in trouble with the law. In 2016, the “renegade renovator” was charged with multiple felonies after claiming to do work he was paid for and failed to perform in Rockland County. He was also put on the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection’s “Renegade Renovators” list.
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