PLEASANT MOUNT – When David Valenti was arrested in Plains Township Thursday, it brought back some not-so-fond memories for Michael Agolia in Pleasant Mount.
Agolia paid $57,000 in cash to Wyoming Homes for a modular home in 2007. And when he says Valenti stalled delivery of the home for several months, Agolia convinced prosecutors in Wayne County to charge Valenti with theft.
During jury selection in 2008, Valenti reached a deal with Agolia to pay him back the $57,000 immediately, and pay more than $15,000 in a regular payments for legal fees and damages.
But in the past eight months, two of Valenti’s settlement checks bounced.
“He should have been put in jail. Many people in Pennsylvania are amazed he hasn’t been put in jail,” said Agolia.
Agolia’s lawyer wants Wayne County courts to hold Valenti in contempt of the 2008 deal that kept the modular home dealer out of jail.
Valenti also could soon face more charges in Luzerne County, where he has already been charged with felony theft, as we reported June 12.
“We seem to get more and more people calling in,” said District Attorney Stefani Salavantis. “Especially since it’s been reported. It just doesn’t seem to end right now with the theft that’s been going on with David Valenti.”
Luzerne County detective Larry Fabian says nine complaints against Valenti in the past four days have come from Susquehanna, Lackawanna and Monroe counties, from people who claim Valenti ripped them off. The cases could be prosecuted in Luzerne County because that’s where they claim they signed the contracts.
“Right now, we’re scheduling these individuals to come in for interviews. At this point, we’re telling them to bring their paperwork in so we can see exactly what we have,” said Detective Fabian.
“Valenti got caught again,” Michael Agolia said from his home in Wayne County.
Agolia says he’s not surprised Valenti is in trouble six years after Agolia made news by picketing Wyoming Homes and living in a camper until Agolia finally got a refund.
“He should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. And these people should be made right,” said Agolia. “They should get their homes or get their money back.”
But does David Valenti have the money to settle his latest troubles?
Wyoming Homes’ lot in Plains Township is closed. Its phone number has been disconnected. Valenti himself spent two days in the Lackawanna County jail last month for failing to pay spousal support, and Valenti admits a bank foreclosed on his home in Moosic three years ago.
And Federal investigators have been contacted as well.
Last week, Beth Rozelle of Fleetville in Lackawanna County claimed Valenti sold her a modular home last year claiming it was a FEMA home, but was brand new and never occupied. Through a records request, Newswatch 16 gave the serial number of Rozelle’s home, and FEMA reported it had been “occupied.”