TILTON — A former Laconia metal roofing contractor is facing criminal charges in Massachusetts for allegedly taking a check for $16,066 in September 2013 from a Pepperell, Mass., man and not performing the roofing work for which he was contracted.
Jonathan Taylor, 47, of 3 Daniel Drive in Tilton, is facing one felony charge of larceny greater than $250 by false pretenses in the Ayre, Mass. District Court, said Pepperell Police Lt. Todd Blain earlier this week. A spokeswoman from the Middlesex County Attorney's Office said yesterday that Taylor's case is still ongoing and he is next scheduled in court on April 22.
Taylor has also been arrested by Tilton police on charges that he issued bad checks. He is due to be arraigned for these charges later this month in Franklin.
Taylor, who filed for bankruptcy protection 16 months ago, operated his business, Northeast Metal Roofing Inc., from an address on Court Street in Laconia.
"He took my check and I never had contact with him again," said Dominick DiMassino. "He left me with a house that was stripped and tarped in October."
DiMassino said he met Taylor at a metal roof raising party. "He gave me a card, he came down and I got a quote," DiMassino said.
While DiMassino was infuriated by Taylor's alleged actions, he said he became concerned about others who may be victims after he did some Internet research. He also wants his money back.
Efforts to speak to Taylor's attorney for comment were unsuccessful.
As DiMassino was doing his online research he reached out to Hollie Ottman of Tilton who had a similar encounter with Taylor in August 2014 and was also searching for other victims on the Internet.
In a police report created by the Tilton Police Ottman says that she agreed to hire Taylor to put a metal roof on her house. She told police she gave him $500 in cash for a down payment in July 2013.
She gave him an additional $1,000 after he gave her an estimate of $3,000 to complete the job and told her it would take him two days and the work would be done in August.
Police records indicate Taylor told her he needed money for the materials and she gave him another $1,000, bringing the total she had given him to $2,500. Three days later, on Aug. 28, 2014, he told her he was running behind.
She told police he gave her a number of reasons why he said no metal had been delivered to her house and was told that the distributor "messed up the order."
In September he said he was working in Massachusetts and would find out about the metal. She said he began ignoring her text messages.
When she called the metal distributor she learned that Taylor had not ordered the metal and she said she became afraid she had been ripped off.
She contacted the police who began calling Taylor who told the investigating officer that he wanted to reimburse Ottman.
On Sept. 20, the officer learned from Ottman that she had not gotten her money, so he called Taylor again. The two agreed Taylor would pay Ottman by Sept. 22. When she hadn't been paid by Sept. 24, the officer called Taylor again but never got a call back.
The officer recommended that more follow-up was needed and the case was brought to the Belknap County Attorney's Office for a review to see if any criminal charges could be brought.
County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen said this week that she reviewed the case and determined that at this point she would not be able to get a criminal conviction because she would be unable to prove that Taylor intended to steal from Ottman when he took her money.
She also said that larceny and theft laws in New Hampshire and Massachusetts differ, and that she was unable to comment on what happened in Pepperell, Mass.
Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier said yesterday that Taylor was arrested by his department for issuing bad checks in a case unrelated to Ottman's. He said he was released on $1,500 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear in the 6th Circuit Court, Franklin Division on April 27 for an arraignment.
The Sun learned that Taylor has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in January 2014. His filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, New Hampshire District show he has assets of about $13,000 and debts greater than $204,000.
Neither DiMassino nor Ottman knew about the bankruptcy filings and both said they would be contacting their own lawyers to see if it would make sense to join the list of Taylor's creditors that already include the Internal Revenue Service, the N.H. Department of Labor, and the N.H. Division of Human Services, Office of Child Support.
Ottman and DiMassino say they have spoken to a number of other people in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts whom they believe were also victims of Taylor or his now dissolved company.
As for DiMassino, he said he tracked down Taylor's metal supplier in Maine who referred him to a roofer who finished the job.
DiMassino said he paid the roofer who finished the job and he is very happy the roof was complete by snowfall, but said he is still furious that he was taken for $16,000.
Ottman is not giving up. She said she has contacted other victims and is encouraging them to go to their local police departments and file complaints. Her hope is that if enough people file legitimate complaints the Belknap County Attorney's Office will be able to do something.
Taylor's attorney, Raymond J. DiLucci, did not return The Laconia Daily Sun's phone call. His bankruptcy case has been continued to April 28.