Scranton Chimney Contractor Charged with Fraud

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- A chimney contractor in Lackawanna County is facing felony charges, accused of ripping off an elderly couple.

Investigators say Daniel Brennan of Scranton charged the couple for fireplace repairs that he never did.

Daniel Brennan, 52, is now facing felony fraud charges. He's accused of bilking an elderly couple in Clarks Summit out of $1,400.

According to the criminal complaint, Brennan promised to do repair work on the fireplace at the home of Ernest and Maureen Chell, but after being paid, he never returned.

“When he first came over, I had a feeling he was a wheeler dealer, but I didn't think he was dishonest,” said Maureen.

Maureen said she met Brennan by chance when they were both stopped at a red light at an intersection in Dickson City in March.

After seeing his truck with his business “Irish Sweeps Chimney Restoration” sign on it, she asked for a business card, saying her fireplace needed repairs.

“I saw his truck and it wasn't like a beat up truck,” said Maureen. “It's a beautiful truck. It's all painted and I thought, 'Oh, this guy must be OK,' and I tooted the horn because we were at the red light.”

But the Lackawanna County District Attorney's office says after the Chells paid him $1,400, they never heard from him again despite numerous calls to him.

Chell's husband even sent him a certified letter.

“My thoughts were, ‘What's going on here?’” said Maureen. “Something isn't right, you know? Your gut tells you something isn't right. My husband even wrote a letter to him.”

The criminal complaint lists Brennan’s home as on Jackson Street in West Scranton.

At a home directly across the street that had Brennan’s business sign and truck parked at it, a man looking very similar to Brennan said he didn't know who Daniel Brennan was.

Gretchen Jennings owns a hair salon on the same block and says Brennan has always been a good neighbor.

“We don't live in Scranton. We live in Clarks Summit, so when we're not here at night, he keeps an eye on the building for us,” said Jennings.

Court records show Brennan was released on $2,500 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing was set for June 5th.


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