New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York State Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen today announced the arrest and arraignment of Dwight Fiero.
A/k/a David Fiero, 44, for his role in a contractor fraud scheme perpetrated against homeowners across the Capital Region.
The 10-count indictment, which was unsealed in Albany County Court today before the Honorable Judge Andra Ackerman, charges Fiero with pocketing more than $50,000 in deposit monies from at least nine homeowners meant for home improvement projects, all while he was awaiting sentencing on a conviction for an unrelated case.
“As New Yorkers struggled with the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is appalling that Dwight Fiero cheated hardworking homeowners to line his own pockets,” said Attorney General James. “Not only did this individual violate the public’s trust, he also undermined our nation’s integrity by making a mockery of the brave men and women who actually serve our country. My office remains committed to protecting the homes and wallets of all New Yorkers, and we will never allow these deceptive and fraudulent schemes to go unchecked.”
“This contractor acted in bad faith by taking tens of thousands of dollars from homeowners with absolutely no intention on following through on agreed-upon construction projects,” said State Police Superintendent Bruen. “I commend the members of our Financial Crimes Unit and the Attorney General’s Office for seeking justice for these homeowners.”
Today’s charges are the result of a joint investigation by the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes and the New York State Police Financial Crimes Unit.
The investigation began in the fall of 2020 after numerous homeowners filed complaints with the New York State Police and the OAG’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.
As set forth in the indictment unsealed today, Fiero is charged with stealing more than $50,000 from at least nine Capital Region homeowners between April 24, 2020 and November 22, 2020, while he was released and awaiting sentencing on an unrelated case.
According to prosecutors, Fiero advertised himself as a military combat veteran on Facebook Marketplace who could build and install backyard decks. Fiero advertised his services under the businesses War Cry Contracting, Veterans Contracting, and Battle-Scarred Contracting. Fiero thereby lured unsuspecting homeowners, who were looking to have home renovation projects completed during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) pandemic, into falsely supporting who they thought was a veteran.
Fiero is also charged with soliciting large upfront deposits for work, and then failing to perform the work or so poorly performing the work that homeowners had to pay to have everything removed.
In one instance, Fiero allegedly enclosed a porch for a homeowner that was so poorly built that it needed to be replaced altogether.
The enclosure was not properly built to bear weight and the roof couldn’t support any anticipated snow load. In addition, the windows were not properly flashed, which could cause leaking and rot over time.
Lastly, the homeowner had a porch with gray siding, but instead Fiero used tan siding on the enclosed porch — which left her with a home with two completely different colors of siding.
Fiero, who is currently serving a sentence of 18 months to three years for his prior conviction on the unrelated case, was remanded to the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
The charges against Fiero are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Attorney General James wishes to thank the New York State Police for their valuable assistance in this investigation.
The OAG investigation was conducted by Investigator Samuel Scotellaro, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Mark Spencer and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam.
The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes. Principal Auditor Investigator Meaghan Scotellaro, under the direction of Chief Auditor Kristen Fabbri, provided forensic analysis during this investigation.
The OAG case is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Benjamin S. Clark of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, with the assistance of Legal Support Analyst Jamirah Williams-Johnson and Supervising Analyst Paul Strocko.
The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph G. D’Arrigo.
Both the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau and the Investigations Bureau are part of the Division for Criminal Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.
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