TAYLOR — A man is locked up in Lackawanna County on felony charges he scammed at least eight people out of hundreds of dollars for home repairs he never did.
Investigators arrested Joseph Senese of Taylor Tuesday on charges of fraud and believe he stole a combined total of $15,000 from his victims.
Joseph Senese is locked up at the Lackawanna County Prison for allegedly scamming eight people out of thousands of dollars for home repair work he promised but never did.
He was arrested by county detectives at his home in Taylor.
Gerald Cardoni of Jessup became one of Senese`s alleged victims after contacting Senese in April.
“We were going to get those re-taped and painted, spackled” said Cardoni, pointing to a spot on the wall of his living room.
Cardoni said Senese asked him for a down payment of $500 to do small projects around the house. He said Senese cashed his check later that same day.
“He said he was going to be back on the 21st,” said Cardoni. “The 21st he never shows. I call him, he says he had some problem with some other work he’s doing. He`ll come back the next week, never shows up again. I call him again, never shows up again.”
According to court papers, Florence Peresta was hit the hardest by Senese.
He’s accused of bilking the woman in her 80s out of nearly $5,000.
She hired him to work on her garage near Clarks Summit and said she had to take out loan to pay him.
In total, investigators believe Senese stole roughly $15,000 from the eight victims.
“He scammed quite a lot of people I heard,” said Peresta. “Young kid and he knew what he was going to do and everything else like that.”
The state attorney general`s website shows Senese is registered through 2015 as an insured home contractor.
In the criminal complaint, investigators stated they have been trying to get his name removed from that list.
“The thing I can`t understand is how a guy like that could still be on the record and still be licensed and why they didn’t get him off the rolls,” said Cardoni. “Something`s got to be done, these guys are out there saying they`re reputable and not doing the job and just stealing money off of people.”
Calls to the attorney general’s office about Senese were not returned.
The District Attorney’s Office believes there are more people out there who were scammed by Senese.