GLASTONBURY — Police have charged that a man engaged in home improvement contracting without a license and defrauded more than $23,000 from a local homeowner by collecting cash advances for work he never did, then made a payment agreement and failed to abide by it.
The contractor, Jose F. Dias, 49, who has listed addresses in Westfield, Massachusetts and Basking Ridge, New Jersey, was arrested on a warrant Feb. 3 on felony counts of first-degree larceny and second-degree forgery and a misdemeanor count of violating home improvement contract requirements. The charges stem from incidents that occurred in 2019.
Dias is free on bonds totaling $145,000 in the Glastonbury case and three similar cases filed by New Britain and Plainville police.
The forgery count is based on evidence Dias used a false home improvement contractor number on the contract he signed with the Glastonbury homeowner, who lives in a townhouse complex off New London Turnpike, police said.
According to the affidavit supporting Dias’ arrest that was written by police Officer Christopher Procaccini, events happened this way: The homeowner complained to police about the situation on Feb. 4, 2020. She said she had learned of Dias, who did business under the name Care Home Renovations, through a website advertising contractors. She hired him on Oct. 18, 2019 to do renovations starting with a bathroom and extending throughout the home.
They agreed to a 50% deposit of $3,820 for the first phase of the work, which the homeowner acknowledged was completed.
The second phase of the job included renovating the kitchen and removing basement carpeting. Dias and the homeowner agreed to another 50% deposit of $10,620 for this work.
As Dias continued to work, he asked for additional cash advances that brought the homeowner’s total payments to $26,939, the homeowner told police. But she said Dias stopped working by Nov. 18, 2019. She estimated the value of the work he did at the $3,820 she had paid him for the first half of the first phase of the job.
The homeowner said she continued to ask Dias to finish the job during November and December 2019, adding that he would often push out the date.
On Nov. 29, 2019, they made a payment agreement regarding the payments he had received for work not done, but almost three months later he had failed to make any payments under the agreement.
As Dias continued to fail to show up to complete the work and the homeowner was unable to reach him, she grew suspicious and started to research him online. After finding that he didn’t have a home improvement contractor’s license, she went to police.
The officer said his own online research produced news stories from Massachusetts reporting that Dias was liable for some $200,000 of services he never provided.
The officer said he had made several unsuccessful attempts to reach Dias during his investigation. Online court records don’t list a defense lawyer in any of his four Connecticut criminal cases.
Glastonbury police said in a news release that they arrested Dias on Feb. 3 at the Hartford Correctional Center, but online court records show that he is now free on bond or a promise to appear in all his cases.
He is due in New Britain Superior Court in the New Britain and Plainville cases on March 30 and in Manchester Superior Court in the Glastonbury case on March 31.