NUREMBURG -- A woman in Schuylkill County said she was a victim of a contractor charged in Lackawanna County for home repair fraud.
Joseph Senese was arrested yesterday by county detectives on felony charges he bilked eight people out of money they paid for him to work on their homes, work that he never did.
A day after his arrest, Gloria Demansky of Nuremburg told Newswatch 16 he did the same thing to her three years ago.
Demansky said she needed repair work done on the porch of her home near McAdoo roughly three years ago.
She said she hired Joseph Senese in April of 2011, giving him a down payment of $825 to start the work. She said he took the money and never came back.
“He went up on the porch and said how much it would be, I thought about it and we came downstairs and I said it sounds like a good deal,” said Demansky. “I said, 'When can you start?' He said, 'Oh, next week.' Next week never happened.”
Senese is now locked up in Lackawanna County, charged with doing the same thing to eight people there.
County detectives arrested Senese at his home in Taylor accusing him of taking money for home repairs he never planned to do.
Among his alleged victims, a woman in her 80s who took out a loan so she could pay Senese nearly $5,000 to fix her garage near Clarks Summit.
“I was so upset to see that elderly lady took out a loan to pay him,” said Demansky. “It`s not easy to go out and get a loan today at our age and to have to pay it back and then get ripped off.”
The people who said Senese ripped them off had complained he was still listed as a certified contractor on the state attorney general`s website.
Now the attorney general`s office says his name has been removed as part of an already on-going process.
As for Demansky, she said police in Schuylkill County were able to get Senese to return $100 months after she hired him.
Senese then signed an agreement in 2011 while he was locked up at the Lackawanna County Prison, promising to pay the rest of the $725.
Demansky said she hasn't seen one dime of that money.
“He`s just a con. He`s a con man is what he is. It`s a shame.”
Detectives with the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office believe there are more people out there who were scammed by Joseph Senese and ask them to contact their office.