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Contractor bilked SE Queens senior: DA

A St. Albans senior citizen was allegedly victimized by a greedy contractor who took $140,000 for home repairs that were never made, the Queens district attorney said last week.

Ron Scott, 68, of West Islip, L.I., was arraigned Jan. 20 on several charges, including grand larceny and criminal possession of a weapon, DA Richard Brown said.

Lilian Miller, 74, hired Scott three years ago to do an extension on her home and despite paying him, he never did the work, according to Brown.

“In this market, when more and more people are doing renovations and repairs on their residences instead of moving, consumers should be cautious when hiring a home improvement contractor,” the DA said in a statement.

Miller retained Scott, who works for the Phoenix International Construction Co. and the owner of US Builder NYC, both Long Island-based companies, in August 2007, according to Brown. The senior citizen wanted work done on her 112th Road home because she had trouble climbing the stairs to the second floor and gave Scott a $138,500 bank check and a $5,000 personal check, the DA said.

The bank check was obtained from a line of credit she obtained against equity on her home, Brown said.

That check was allegedly deposited by Scott in a non-escrow Capital One bank account obtained by US Builder NYC and he used the funds to pay off a personal debt and give money to Phoenix International, according to the DA. In the meantime, the contractor never returned to do any work on Miller’s home despite numerous phone calls, e-mails and letters from her, Brown said.

Because the work was never done, Miller continued to struggle as she moved around her house and recently had an accident in her home, according to the DA.

“[T]he victim seriously hurt her shoulders, back and legs a few months ago when she fell down the stairs while attempting to use the upstairs bathroom,” he said in a statement.

Queens Criminal Court Judge Stephanie Zaro ordered the contractor be held on $25,000 bail, Brown said. If convicted of his charges, Scott faces up to 15 years in prison, according to the DA.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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