NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They call themselves “contractors.” Prosecutors call them “scammers.”
Police say Anthony Delmaro is the leader of a nomadic family of con artists that have been on the run for years. Delmaro; his son, Geno; and Geno’s wife, Ruby Stevenson, were arrested Tuesday at a Yonkers bowling alley, where they allegedly accepted $8,000 for roof repairs that had not been started — and never would be — according to police.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, the family was in custody at Westchester County Jail on Thursday night and are expected to be indicted Friday.
“They’re self-proclaimed gypsies,” said Harrison police Chief Anthony Maraccini. “When we asked about where they were from, they said, ‘We’re gypsies.'”
Police seized a number of expensive vehicles from a house the family was renting in Lindenhurst, Long Island. Authorities are hoping to get some of the victims’ money back by auctioning off the confiscated property, but they don’t believe the vehicles will cover all of the alleged fraud, which exceeds $1 million.
The suspects have outstanding criminal warrants in six states, police said. They charm potential customers with gifts, kind words and good estimates for needed repairs before vanishing with their cash, according to authorities.
Pierluigi Sampietro, an 85-year-old concert pianist, said he was talked out of a $5,000 cash down payment for a roof job that was never done.
“Convincing people,” he said. “I mean, nobody would say (Anthony Delmaro is) bad.”
Authorities believe there could be additional victims.
The family operated under several different business names, including Bulldog Roofing, A-1 Strong Roofing, New York Flat Top Roofing and Island Tech Roofing.
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