FLUSHING — Two Long Island brothers were arrested on fraud charges after they allegedly defrauded a 90-year-old Flushing woman of $24,185, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
The brothers, who pleaded guilty in August in a fraud case involving $30,406, were arrested hours after they had made a restitution payment in the woman’s driveway after they supposedly overcharged her for poor chimney work, the DA said.
Bruce Wimmer, 29, and Michael Cristiano, 33, operate under Reliable Chimney Inc., or the false name American Chimney, the DA said. Although they were allegedly not licensed to work in the city, they offered to clean the Flushing woman’s chimney, work on her driveway and fix her fence, the DA said.
They are accused of demanding $5,500 for the job shortly thereafter, then later showing up to her home and demanding payment for work and supplies, the DA said. After this, they allegedly drove her to the bank to collect money and took $24,185 from her, the DA said.
The bank alerted the 107th Precinct to the alleged crime after seeing the large withdrawals, the DA said.
Wimmer and Cristiano were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Sept. 21 on charges of grand larceny as a hate crime, grand larceny, scheme to defraud and operating a home improvement business without a license, the DA said. They were being held on $35,000 bail and face up to 15 years in prison if convicted, the DA said.
Their next court date is Oct. 4, the DA said.
©2011 Community News Group
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