OLD FORGE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Lackawanna County District Attorney’s office has charged an Old Forge contractor after they say he swindled customers out of nearly $30,000.
According to court documents, 48-year-old Joseph Mancuso, owner of Joe Mancuso General Contracting, received an advanced payment from a couple in May 2022 saying the work would be completed in July, but never finished the work or refunded the money.
Court documents detail three separate contracts Mancuso entered into with the couple that totaled $71,140.
In October 2022, the couple says the work was partially completed and, according to investigators, Mancuso told them he had run out of money and was working to get a personal loan to complete the projects.
Investigators say they were able to pull bank records of Mancuso and found that his account was overdrawn by nearly $10,000 and that thousands of dollars were withdrawn by Fanduel, an online gambling company.
Mancuso provided receipts from the months of August to October that totaled $41,501, including a handwritten document that outlined labor payments made to six employees who were listed by first name only, according to investigators.
Investigators say Mancuso defrauded the couple by a total of $29,638.90. He is charged with home improvement fraud, deceptive business practices, and other related charges.
Mancuso was able to post bail.