According to a statement released by The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, on Wednesday, April 25th, an Ocean County Jury seated before the Honorable Therese Cunningham, J.S.C., in Toms River, found defendant Robert Cardell, 55, of Salem, NJ, guilty of eight counts of Theft by Deception in the Third Degree and eight counts of Unregistered Home Improvement Contracting in the Fourth Degree.
Authorities say each count of Theft by Deception is punishable by up to 5 years in New Jersey state prison while each count of Unregistered Home Improvement Contracting carries a possible maximum sentence of eighteen months.
According to the charges against Cardell, between September 2016 and April 2017, the defendant had approached eight Ocean County residents and misrepresented himself as a fully insured and registered home improvement contractor.
Authorities say many of the eight residents were in their seventies and eighties.
The defendant took deposits for various repair work he promised to perform on each of the victims’ homes and often never returned.
The defendant then fabricated multiple stories as to why the work was not started. In some instances, the defendant would return to ask the victims for more money – fabricating a story about having to spend the initial deposit on hospital bills for an injured grandson.
At trial, all eight victims, Edward McBride of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Mr. Jeff Marchitello of Farmers’ Insurance, and Officer Michael Bennet of the Brick Township Police Department were among the witnesses to testify for the State.
The defendant, who was detained pending his trial, was remanded to the Ocean County Jail by Judge Cunningham to await sentencing on the matter. Assistant Prosecutor Francis Hodgson presented the State’s case. Sgt. Mark Malinowski from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office conducted the investigation and preparation of the case for trial.