Thiells contractor gets jailed for five months

A Thiells home improvement contractor who ripped off a Nyack homeowner for $5,000 received a five-month jail sentenced and a $1,000 fine during an appearance in state Supreme Court in New City.

A jury convicted Jerry Cioffi in October  of stealing the money after not fulfilling his contract in April 2010 to contruct a sewer line at the Nyack home of his customer. Cioffi never applied for permits and didn’t do any work for the $5,000 downpayment on the $10,000 job.

The jury convicted Cioffi and his corporation, Cioffi Services, Inc., of a felony count each of third-degree grand larceny. The jury deliberated for two hours before returning a guilty pleas in October following the trial.

Justice William A. Kelly also sentenced Cioffi to five years probation on Wednesday.

Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said his office prosecuted Cioffi for grand larceny the New York State Lien Law. Zugibe’s office has used the law to crack down on fraudulent home improvement and other types of contractors.

The law mandates that contractors can only use the money for a home improvement or property contract on that specific project and must maintain separate ledgers for each job. By failing to provide an accounting of how the money had been used and by not returning the money upon the demand of the consumer, the contractor violated the laws, Zugibe said.

Read more on this case Friday at www.lohud.com

Steve Lieberman

Steve Lieberman joined The Journal News as an editor in February 1984 and became a reporter during the spring of 1986. He has covered police, courts and legal issues for more than a decade, after reporting on county, town, village and state governments and general issues. He received more than a dozen state awards for writing and reporting. Born and raised in The Bronx, he has lived in Rockland since 1988.