Crime Watch

DA: Contractor accused of stealing $10K from Merrick couple


A Centereach man, Gregory Vadjinia, 45, stands accused of defrauding an elderly Merrick couple of $10,000, authorities said.

Vadjinia carried out contractor work without a license, and reportedly promised the couple, whose names have not been released, that he would install a new kitchen in their home, according to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. He allegedly accepted a $10,000 down payment from the female homeowner and then absconded with the money, never returning to do the work.

“Mr. Vadjinia targeted this couple specifically because he thought that they would be easy marks, but his arrest is the direct result of their refusal to be victimized,” said Rice in a prepared statement. “Unlicensed contractors can cause more damage than they were hired to repair, so it is essential that anyone looking to hire a contractor do their homework. Contact the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs to ensure that the people you hire are licensed professionals.”

Vadjinia is reported by Rice to have run an unlicensed contractor business from his home called 2nd Chance Design, and to have done electrical and flooring work for the couple in November 2012 before approaching them in December about renovating their kitchen. The district attorney’s release stated that he offered to do the renovation work for $21,000. After he brought the female homeowner to a kitchen supply store to pick new cabinet doors and other materials, she gave him a $10,000 check as a down payment, according to Rice. Vadjinia allegedly cashed the check and did not return again.

District attorney’s office investigators arrested Vadjinia on Oct. 30. He was charged with grand larceny in the third degree and operating a home improvement business without a license, a misdemeanor. If convicted, Vadjinia would face a maxim of seven years in prison. Assistant District Attorney Edward Bradley of the Government and Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case.

A spokeswoman for Rice said the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County represented Vadjinia at his arraignment. The Legal Aid Society does not comment on cases. Vadjinia is due back in court Nov. 1.