Bathroom Remodeling Salesman Arraigned on Charges of Stealing Thousands of Dollars From Homeowners
AG’s Office Alleges Scheme Perpetrated in Multiple Communities Around Metro Boston
WOBURN-DEDHAM — A former bathroom remodeling salesman was arraigned in connection with allegedly defrauding multiple homeowners of thousands of dollars, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today.
Joel Salvatore, age 42, of Stoneham, was indicted on charges of Larceny over $250 (1 count), and Larceny over $250 of a Person over 60 years old (3 counts). Based on these allegations, on December 22, 2011, Salvatore was found to be in violation of his probation from a previous conviction in Quincy District Court and was sentenced to serve one year in the House of Correction. Salvatore was arraigned yesterday in Middlesex Superior Court where he pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $10,000 bail.
“We allege the defendant used his position to steal from consumers, many of whom are seniors, by soliciting for services he did not provide,” AG Coakley said. “This type of scheme harms consumers and our communities.”
According to authorities, Salvatore worked as a salesperson for Bay State Re-Bath (Re-Bath), a bathroom remodeling company, from February 2011 until his termination in June 2011. As a salesperson, Salvatore met with potential customers in their homes, examined their bathrooms, and gave sales presentations about Re-Bath’s remodeling products and services. He also prepared contracts for proposed projects on approved company letterhead.
Authorities allege that in a scheme to defraud homeowners beginning in April 2011, Salvatore solicited consumers by offering the company’s remodeling services at a cut rate. Based on his proposal, Salvatore would draft a generic contractor’s invoice and request a down payment for services to be rendered at a later date.
Authorities allege that as a result of this scheme, Salvatore collected payments in amounts ranging from $1,700 to $3,000 without ever beginning renovations, despite repeated attempts by customers to contact him. According to authorities, Salvatore victimized customers in Wakefield, Medford, Needham, and Walpole.
In addition to working for Re-Bath, Salvatore previously operated a Luxury Bath Systems franchise in Massachusetts that also performed bathroom remodeling. According to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office, Salvatore is also connected with the following businesses that are registered in Massachusetts: JS & Company located on Gibney Circle in Salem, NH; Home Improvements of New England, Incorporated, located on Hill Street in Stoneham, MA, and Salvatore, Incorporated, located on Billings Street in Quincy, MA.
The Attorney General’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police urge any individuals who feel that they have been the victim of a larceny to contact the Attorney General’s complaint line at 617-963-2223. For information and consumer tips on choosing home improvement contractors, please visit the Attorney General’s website.
Middlesex and Norfolk County Grand Juries returned indictments against Salvatore on December 21, 2011. Salvatore pleaded not guilty at arraignment yesterday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn and is due back in court on February 10 for a pretrial hearing. Salvatore will be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court on January 17, 2012.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General William R. Freeman and Kate Billman-Golemme of AG Coakley’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Attorney General’s Office.