2nd Street House in Highlands used to Nab unlicensed Contractors

Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that eight unregistered home improvement contractors who came to a severely-damaged house on Second Street in Highlands home damaged by Superstorm Sandy, and submitted estimates to undercover investigators to perform repairs, have been criminally charged or civilly cited for allegedly violating the State’s Home Improvement Contractors’ Registration Act.

The joint criminal and civil investigation, carried out by the Statewide Sandy Fraud Working Group within the Attorney General’s Office, illustrates the proactive measures being taken by Governor Chris Christie’s administration to protect the victims of Superstorm Sandy from further harm during the ongoing recovery process.

“We’re putting every schemer and fraudster on notice – do not attempt to enrich yourself by victimizing those who already have suffered from Superstorm Sandy and are attempting to rebuild their lives,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “Either operate legally or we will hold you accountable.”

The unregistered contractors who were criminally charged are as follows:

Rev. Victor McGookin III, 53, Seaside Park, N.J.

Michael Kaufmann, 48, Kaufmann Drywall By Design, Philadelphia, Pa.

Jason Storey, 46, Work-A-Holics, LLC, South Orange, N.J.

Anthony DiVito, 61, DiVito & Sons, LLC, Fanwood, N.J.

The Division of Consumer Affairs has issued Notices of Violation for unregistered practice of home improvement to the following:

Darrell Sorger, 43, Toms River, N.J.

Robert Mazzeo, 33, Mazzeo Construction, Keyport, N.J.

Derrick Scott, 54, Lloyd Home Improvement, Matawan, N.J.

Sebastiao Bonato, 54, Sebastian Restoration and Design (d/b/a/ Step Home Restorations), Long Branch, N.J.

The Notices of Violation carry civil penalties of $2,500.