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A case in New York state has seen a plumber convicted and sentenced to four months in prison for grand larceny in the third degree ( which is basically theft).  The plumber called Jerry Cioffi was found guilty of stealing $5000 from a homeowner having been contracted to build a sewer connection from her house to a main sewer. Cioffi received a $5000 payment in April 2010 towards the $10,000 cost of the job, and the homeowner was told that the necessary permits would be obtained and work should be completed by the begining of May 2010. The homeowner was forced to contact the Department of Consumer Protection in September 2010 as no work had commenced and was told that no permits had been applied for either.

According to a report in “Cioffi did not return the victim’s money and did not provide an accounting of the job.  The defendant was prosecuted under the state’s Lien Law, which mandates that upon acceptance of money in connection with a contract for property improvement, those funds become a trust to be used for that project only.  Contractors are required to keep separate ledgers for each contracted job. 

By not providing an accounting of the money and not returning the $5,000 at the homeowner’s request, Cioffi violated the Penal Law and the Lien Law.”

As well as the four month sentence he will serve five years probabtion and have to pay a $1000 fine.

We think it is great news that the New York state law is coming down hard on rogue tradesmen and would like to see more stories like this in the UK!

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