Two men were charged Thursday for their alleged involvement in a contracting scam targeting Delaware County senior citizens, authorities said.
John Cassidy, 48, of Yonkers, NY, and Thomas Kenny 23, were charged with violations of the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act and theft for pressuring residents into paying them for faulty contracting jobs, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer and Brookhaven chief of police Michael Vice said.
Cassidy, an Irish national, is in the country on an expired visa. He is in custody while Kenny is still at large.
A 60-year-old Brookhaven homeowner told Chief Vice on Monday, Sept. 20, that earlier that day she had been pressured by a driveway sealing company, authorities said.
The woman explained that a man with an Irish accent had pressured her into having him seal her driveway. Initially asking for $2,400, they agreed to a price of $1,200, with the payment to be made in cash, the DA's office said.
After the work was completed, Cassidy, along with Kenny, demanded $1,400 for the project.
In actuality, the pair had used spray paint to cover the driveway, which is not an acceptable form of sealant, authorities learned.
The woman added that a neighbor had also been pressured by a man with an Irish accent.
However, the second victim attempted to prevent the contractor from doing the work, telling the pair that his driveway did not need sealing, authorities said.
Despite that, the men arrived at the victim’s home the next day, accompanied by several other individuals, and told him that they had purchased the supplies and that they were therefore going to complete the work, the DA's office said.
The “sealant" used by the pair was the same black spray paint used on the neighbor’s home.
Payment in cash was also demanded but no receipt or signed contract was created in either case.
Both residents positively identified the men.
Cassidy's bail was set at $100,000 cash.
“As your District Attorney, I want the citizens of Delaware County to know that we take this type of crime very seriously. We must be vigilant in our efforts to prevent crimes such as these, which were clearly targeted at our older residents," DA Stollsteimer said.
"I want to commend Chief Vice and Officer Ryan Eastman of the Brookhaven Police Department, as well as Sergeant Joseph Hackett of our Criminal Investigation Division, who have worked tirelessly to investigate these individuals."
“We are announcing these charges today because we believe that there may be other victims in our community who have been taken in by these unscrupulous individuals,” Chief Vice said.
“If you or someone you know has had an experience similar to the ones outlined in today’s charges, we urge you to contact the Brookhaven Police Department at 610-876-6142. Speaking up will help us ensure that these individuals are unable to engage in these abusive practices.”
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