Prosecutor: Williamstown, NJ, Contractor Took $75K Down Payment, Didn’t Do Any Work
Authorities in Burlington County say a contractor from Williamstown has been charged after he allegedly took a $75,000 down payment for a project but failed to do any work.
51-year-old Richard Smith, Jr., has been charged with second-degree attempted theft by deception, two counts of third-degree theft by deception, and one count of third-degree misapplication of entrusted property.
The investigation began in December 2021, after the Riverton Police Department was contacted by a resident who reported that Smith, the owner of Beyond Renovations LLC, took two payments from him for work on an addition totaling $74,488.88, but never began construction.
The investigation revealed that Smith used the money for personal expenses. He visited Atlantic City casinos and played in a poker tournament. He also purchased a new vehicle, a boat and a fake Rolex watch.
Authorities say Smith also changed the name of his business to ARB Builder’s Group and continued to take deposits for projects from new customers.
Smith was taken into custody on Wednesday and lodged in the Burlington County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Anyone who believes they have been victimized by Smith should contact the Riverton Police Department at (856) 829-1212.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.