Burlington County officials announced that a 51-year-old Williamstown contractor has been charged with taking nearly $75,000 as a down payment for a construction project but failing to perform any work at all on the Riverton customer’s home.
According to county officials, Richard Smith Jr., of the 300 block of Bryn Mawr Drive, was charged with Attempted Theft by Deception, Theft by Deception and Misapplication of Entrusted Property.
County officials said that he was taken into custody yesterday during the execution of a search warrant at his residence and lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court.
The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.
The investigation began in December 2021, after the Riverton Police Department was contacted by a resident who reported that Smith, the owner of Beyond Renovations LLC, took two payments from him for work on an addition totaling $74,488.88 but never began construction.
The investigation revealed that Smith used the money for personal expenses. He visited Atlantic City casinos and played in a poker tournament. He also purchased a new vehicle, a boat and a fake Rolex watch.
The investigation found that after accepting the checks from the victim, Smith changed the name of his business to ARB Builder’s Group and continued taking deposits for projects from new customers.
Anyone who believes they have been victimized by the defendant should contact the Riverton Police Department at 856-829-1212.