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Undercover operation results in arrests of 8 unregistered contractors August 28, 2009

Posted by jefhenningeresq in News.
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 “Operation Hammer Time,”  as the sting was called, operated out of a house in Brick, which is owned by Brick Township.  Between February and July, prosecutor’s Sgt. Kimberly Milana posed as a woman who wanted to renovate the property.  Investigators targeted unregistered home-improvement contractors who advertised their services.

Milana asked them to go to the Brick house to give her estimates for various work on the house.  In New Jersey, home improvement contractors must be registered with the state Division of Consumer Affairs. Failure to register is a fourth-degree crime which carries a potential prison term of 18 months.

The contractors charged in indictments with being unregistered are: David Nichols, of Lakewood; Thomas J. Smith, of Tuckerton; Stephen J. Sente, of Berkeley Township; James Hamilton, of Toms River; Nenad Brezanin, of Howell; Guy Gambarony, of Brick; James MacMillan, of Stratford; and Orlando Escobar, of Keyport.

Nichols and Smith also were charged with tampering with public records.  They both allegedly made false statements on applications for a home-improvement registration. Smith was also charged with theft by deception of $7,000 from a customer.

Sente was charged in another indictment with four counts of theft, unregistered home-improvement contracting and electrical contracting without a permit.  That indictment stemmed from an investigation that was underway before the prosecutor’s office started this operation.  

For the guys facing just the one charge, a good attorney should be able to handle this case with little expense.  For the other guys however, the cases are a little more complex.  While I can easily deal with the theft charges, the fact that they are also unregistered creates an added problem.  A good attorney would file a 404b motion to separate the charges and the State will argue that they are all part of the same scheme. 

Story is here.

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Comments»

1. pobept - August 28, 2009

Everyone of the ‘should’ if convicted, serve the maximum allowed by law and be forced to pay damages to their victims!


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