METAIRIE, La. — Score one for the good guys — a Louisiana man passing himself off as a roofing contractor has been locked up after ripping off an 86-year-old woman.
ABC-affiliated WGNO reports that, on Oct. 27, a 34-year-old man knocked on the door of the victim and claimed he was “Joe Pizzo,” a licensed and insured contractor with Expert Roofing and Paving. He said the woman’s home had storm damage that needed repairs. Police said he convinced her to write a $2,000 check for materials and labor.
The victim’s neighbor learned of the situation and saw there was no damage to the house that required fixing. Pizzo returned to her home the next day without any materials, and fled when the neighbor confronted him.
Upon opening an investigation, police determined the business information and phone number on the quote written for the victim didn’t belong to a legitimate business. Deputies eventually identified the man as Steve John of Metairie, La., and arrested him on Oct. 29 at his residence.
He was booked with exploitation of the informed, residential contractor fraud and narcotics possession. John was being held at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna, La., on Friday in lieu of $31,000 bail.
Upon news of John's crimes going public, a second Metairie resident came forward to accuse John of scamming him with unneeded repairs. This second victim contacted police to say John, along with another man and a woman, approached him at his home to say his roof needed repairs. The victim provided John $400 for the repairs, but John never returned.
Police in Pennsylvania provided additional details about similar fraud charges made against John. The Conshohocken Police reported that he is accused of conning a homeowner out of $59,500.
At the beginning of the year, a 30-year-old man from Texas was sentenced to eight years in prison after defrauding more than 40 victims. As part of his punishment, he was made to pay $230,000 in restitution.