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Contractor sentenced to prison for defrauding homeowners

ALBANY – A contractor who stole thousands of dollars from homeowners by taking their money but failing to complete work on their homes is heading to prison.

From April 2011 through December 2013, Robert Decker, 60, engaged in a scheme to defraud dozens of unsuspecting homeowners throughout the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley. Despite being permanently banned from working as a home improvement contractor in 2003, Decker represented himself and his company, A+ Rated Contracting, as being duly authorized and insured.  Based on his false representations, homeowners hired Decker to do home improvements.  However, after taking thousands of dollars in deposits from homeowners, Decker failed to complete the agreed-upon work or did no work at all, and then failed to refund the deposits.

In several instances, Decker took money, performed only demolition work and then walked away from the jobs, leaving homes exposed to the elements. Decker also filed a form with the Town of Clifton Park falsely claiming an exemption from workers’ compensation coverage and presented forged certificates of liability insurance to several homeowners.  

A judge in Montgomery County Court sentenced Decker to one to three years in prison. On April 17, 2014, Decker had pleaded guilty to Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree.

“This case sends a clear message that contractors who defraud unsuspecting homeowners by failing to complete work or performing shoddy work will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “There has to be one set of rules for everyone, and our office is committed to standing up for consumers against economic predators like unscrupulous home contractors.”