Consumer Affairs Commissioner Farley Said One Contractor Took $80,000

WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Long Island officials said they have arrested 61 unlicensed home improvement contractors who were allegedly preying on superstorm Sandy victims.

The arrests were the result of a sting operation that was conducted  after officials said they received more than 100 complaints from homeowners.

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Many of the suspects were unlicensed, uninsured and would disappear after taking deposits, officials said.

“We had one contractor who was knocking on doors collecting money to do Sandy recovery work. He would do a little bit of the work and then move on,” County Consumer Affairs Commissioner Madalyn Farley said Thursday.

She said one contractor took $80,000 and never completed the repairs.

The arrests took place in May and June in Franklin Square and Valley Stream.

The contractors were charged with misdemeanors, officials said. Some have already pleaded guilty.

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All together, they face fines of over $150,000, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

“Nassau County will not tolerate those who attempt to scam our residents and prey on Hurricane Sandy victims,” Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said in a statement. “If you are performing contract work in Nassau County without a proper license or trying to cheat our homeowners, we will find you, arrest you and ask the District Attorney to throw the book at you.”

The sting was separate from an ongoing investigation of contractors who performed work for municipalities.

An Associated Press analysis of campaign finance and county records last month also found at least 23 companies that got storm contracts gave money to Mangano’s campaign after Sandy. A Mangano spokesman has said nothing was done illegally.

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