Press Releases

Posted on: November 2, 2017

Unlicensed Home Contractor Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Payments from Senior Citizens

Robert Cohan

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that an East Rockaway man was sentenced yesterday to two to four years in prison for stealing $96,100 in payments from multiple clients who hired him to do home repairs.

Robert Cohan, 31, pled guilty before Judge Robert Bogle on April 27 to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a D felony), Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony) and Attempted Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an A misdemeanor).

“This defendant is going to prison because he preyed upon innocent seniors with threats and lies to steal thousands from vulnerable victims,” DA Singas said. “Preying on the elderly is especially despicable and I am grateful to our prosecutors for holding a shameless con man accountable.”

DA Singas said that on 11 separate incidents from January 2016 to April 2017, the defendant targeted senior citizens in Malverne, Garden City, New Hyde Park, Amityville, Valley Stream and South Hempstead, by knocking on their door and saying they needed repairs done to their homes and property.

The defendant told victims that repairs were needed for their driveways, chimneys and/or sidewalks. Upon signing a contract and receiving a check for payment from the victim, the defendant did little or none of the agreed-upon work. In total, the defendant stole $96,100 from his victims.

In one case, the defendant knocked on the door of an elderly man from Malverne and said he needed exterior paint and additional work done to his driveway, stoop and chimney. Cohan threatened the 89-old-victim by saying he would have to report him to the Town of Hempstead and Adult Protective Services if he didn’t agree to do the work – and that he would be cited by the town because of the condition of his home. The defendant also told him that it was his duty to notify the Town that a senior was living there – and that he could lose his home if he did not agree to the work. The victim gave the defendant a total of $22,100 – but later tried to cancel the project and get his money back. The defendant said he would return the money – but never did.

The NCDA learned of this conduct during a separate investigation.

District Attorney Singas reminded homeowners of the following tips for hiring a contractor. They are available in full click here.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Vickie Curran of DA Singas’ Government and Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented by Greg Zak, Esq.

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