Defendant Misappropriated State Funds Allocated for Two Storm-Damaged Homes in Lindenhurst.
Riverhead, NY - August 2, 2018 - Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini today announced the sentencing of a Smithtown home improvement contractor in connection with misappropriating state funds allocated to repair two homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
“In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, we saw many residents who had suffered devastating damage to their homes become re-victimized by unscrupulous contractors,” District Attorney Sini said. “Thanks to the hard work of Assistant District Attorney Tara Fairgrieve, this defendant is being held accountable for scamming Suffolk County residents in their time of need and is repaying his debts to the victims.”
Lee Moser, 49, pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree on March 22 and agreed to pay $31,110 in restitution, half of the total amount of restitution he owed, by his sentencing date. If he did not pay the required restitution amount, he faced a sentence of one year in prison.
The defendant provided proof of the payment and was sentenced today by Suffolk County Court Justice Timothy Mazzei to five years of probation, during which time he is required to pay the remaining $31,110 in restitution.
In 2016, Moser entered into contracts with two Lindenhurst residents to lift their respective homes, which sustained damage in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy, through his contracting business, Capstone Realty Holdings, Inc.
The homeowners had received funding from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery’s New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program for home improvement projects to prevent future flooding.
According to New York State Lien Law, Moser was required to hold the funds in trust and was only authorized to use the funds to pay for expenditures stemming from the lifting projects. He is convicted of misappropriating those funds, using the victims’ money to fund unrelated home improvement projects and on personal expenses.
Moser misappropriated $42,500 from one victim and $19,720 from the second victim for a total of $62,220.
If Moser fails to pay the remaining $31,110 in restitution during his probationary sentence, he could face a maximum sentence of two and one-third to seven years in prison.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Tara Fairgrieve, of the Financial Investigations and Money Laundering Bureau.