BROCKTON, Mass. - A man from Quincy has been indicted on charges he swindled nearly a dozen homeowners out of thousands of dollars by lying about being a licensed and insured contractor, according to Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz.
A Plymouth County Grand Jury returned 50 indictments against Stephen Straz on Monday following a months-long investigation led by Hanson Police and Sergeant Eugene Andrews.
Cruz said Straz has been working as a contractor since 2015 and received “considerable sums of money” from clients who hired him to perform various building projects on their homes. The indictments allege Straz lied numerous times about being licensed, his expertise, insurance status and his ability to complete the projects. He’s also accused of forging signatures, creating fake and fraudulent documents and committing perjury on affidavits in order to conceal the fact he wasn’t licensed and insured.
The investigation also found that Straz engaged in deceptive business practices, including falsely advertising being licensed as construction supervisor and creating or knowingly allowing false testimonial endorsements to be published about his corporation, Straz Construction Inc. Straz additionally operated the following: Unique Building & Contracting, Inc., Unique Custom Kitchens & More, Inc., Straz Custom Kitchens & More Inc., 13 Hayes St. LLC, New England Property Ventures LLC, and 216-218 Central Ave. LLC.
In total, the indictments allege there are 10 victims who contracted with Straz to complete construction or home improvement projects, ranging in price from thousands of dollars to one project which the homeowners paid more than $100,000 to Straz. The projects Straz didn’t complete or performed substandard work include construction of homes and kitchen, bedroom and bathroom remodels.
The 50 indictments Straz is charged with are: Home Improvement Contractor Violations, Perjury, Larceny of Property Over $1,200 by Single Scheme, Obtaining a Signature by False Pretense, Defacement of Real or Personal Property, Forgery. Larceny of Property, less than $1,200, Common and Notorious Thief, Employer Failure to Have Workers’ Compensation, Larceny over $250 from a Person Over 60, State Building Code Violations, Uttering and Identity Fraud.
Straz will be arraigned in Plymouth Superior Court at a later date.
Boston 25 News reached out to Straz for comment.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.