WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) -- A local contractor is accused of taking more than $38,000 for a construction job and never completing the work.
The alleged victim in the case says contractor Frank John Pasquarelli was hired to remodel a house on Home Drive in Penn Township.
"I hired him, we started off doing a step-by-step job," said the homeowner.
The home's owner, whom KDKA is identifying as Jeff at his request, said he gave Pasquarelli more than $38,000 in cash and checks to do the job, a claim backed by investigators.
"He claimed this was right up his ally," Jeff said. "He's built homes from the ground up. ... He and his crew started off fine."
Three months after the project began during the summer of last year, things went south quickly.
"I made the mistake of trusting him," Jeff said.
The homeowner says he traveled out of state while Pasquarelli was supposed to be working on the house. He says that did not happen, and Pasquarelli did nothing, with the home sitting incomplete for months.
Pasquarelli allegedly blamed an electrician and then he stopped answering Jeff's calls. So Jeff called the Penn Township Police Department.
Investigators obtained Pasquarelli's bank account via search warrant. According to court records, Pasquarelli deposited Jeff's $18,000, plus $20,000 more, into an account that he set up in his wife's name and started spending, including just over $1,000 for an Ocean City, Maryland trip. After the trip and some spending, the account was drained to $3.58.
When police tried to contact Pasquarelli, they couldn't and when they finally did, he said he'd call them back. He never did.
Pasquarelli, of Monroeville, faces multiple felony counts, including home improvement fraud. This isn't the first time he's been brought up on these charges. Pasquarelli faces a preliminary hearing on home improvement fraud in Allegheny County.
KDKA's attempts to contact Pasquarelli were unsuccessful.
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