By David Brand
He was supposed to fix Sandy victims’ homes. Now he’s headed to the big house.
Andrew Troiano, a 56-year-old Long Island contractor, was sentenced to one to three years in prison after pleading guilty to bilking more than $170,000 from three families that lost their homes to Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Two Breezy Point residents and one Rockaway Point family hired Troiano to build them new homes between July 2013 and June 2014, but he cut and run with their money after failing to pay the subcontractors performing the actual work.
“In pleading guilty, the defendant admitted he ripped off people who had already had their lives destroyed by a natural disaster,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “Then, he came along offering to build them new homes to start over. He signed contracts, accepted their money and vanished.”
In June 2013, Troiano hired two subcontractors to pour the concrete foundation and set up cranes to build a home for one Breezy Point family. He then billed the family for $58,500, which they paid in full. Troiano, however, did not pay the subcontractors.
The next month, a second Breezy Point family signed a contract with Troiano to build a modular home on their property with payment due upon completion of the work. In March 2014, the couple received an invoice for $63,750 for the concrete foundation and paid the defendant the amount owed. Troiano hired another contractor to pour the cement foundation and again failed to pay them.
In January 2014, a third couple in Rockaway Point signed a contract with Troiano to build a modular home. They made two payments totaling nearly $46,000 to Troiano who contacted them and said he would speed up construction if they paid an additional $55,000. The couple made the payment, but Troiano never paid the architect who was commissioned to design the new home.
The DA’s office reviewed Troiano’s company’s bank records and saw that he never made the payments to any of the subcontractors.