The homeowner, whom I will refer to as Mrs. X, hired Albert Ioanna and Ioanna Contracting Inc. at 4 Colgate Drive, Smithtown NY 11787, in late July or August of 2018 to do a complete renovation of her property in Commack which I will refer to as the Fisher House. It was also to be made handicap accessible as her brother JD is disabled. She trusted Albert as she had hired him before in the mid-1980s to build an addition to the same property. Between then to mid June of 2012, Howard B. Weber, Esq., have paid Albert Ioanna more than $510K, and he walked off the job on September 3rd 2012, leaving the house a damaged and gutted husk. Since then, Mrs. X and JD had been trying to find justice with both Consumer Affairs and the District Attorney’s Office of Suffolk County, so far with great success. Suffolk County Consumer Affairs Investigator Greg Spencer said: “In my opinion, Mrs. X was robbed!” As of now, instead of fighting the charges against him, Albert had surrendered his license and paid several fines. When Albert Ioanna commenced on the renovation at the Fisher House, JD regularly visited the house to check up on the progress. What he found is that Albert was not on the premises most of the time to supervise. He would often leave his workers and sub-contractors to their own devices and JD would find many things not being done according to the plans drew up by the draftsman Rich Ebert of Race Engineering (71 Tallmadge Trail, Miller Place, NY 11764-2327), nor to Mrs. X’s requests and specifications. One major example was the brickwork for the outside walls of the house. Mrs. X and JD were very specific. They wanted to convert the house to brick. The asbestos shingles currently inside the walls were to be removed before having the walls put up. Albert was to hire an environmental remover with the money Mrs. X paid him to have the shingles removed properly. Apparently Albert saw that as cutting into his profits. He did not remove the shingles and have the walls put up over them. Both Mrs. X and JD suspect that Albert was trying to put the walls up as quickly as possible so nobody would know that the asbestos shingles were still in place and never removed. As a result of the non-removal of the asbestos, they were disturbed by the other sub-contractors as they need to drill into the walls to install the electrical system and other basic necessities. To add insult to injury, the bricklayer Albert hired, William Procida (436 Blue Point Road, Farmingdale, NY), turns out to be not licensed nor insured. Furthermore, he was doing sub-standard work. He did not use brick ties to tie the bricks to the existing wall and some are already falling out. He would stop working on a wall one day and start the job again, not the next day, but the next week or two, ignoring the sequence and pattern of the bricks he was laying down the previous time. He was also using automotive antifreeze in the brick mortar. Finally, Mr. Procida brought onto the premises an assistant, Brian Nenos, who would went on to steal JD’s Cartier ring. As by this time, JD have now moved into the house full time to keep an eye on the construction. He have to bring his 2 golden retrievers with him and he was basically living in one of the bathrooms as that room was among the last to be taken apart for renovation. So all his personal effects, including his money and jewelry was in there, and he left specific instructions that no one is to go in there. JD had advised Albert not to use the garage as there is a safe there in which he can store his valuables. Albert dismissed JD’s request. In November of 2011, JD found his ring was gone, the police was called and a report filed. Mr. Nenos denied taking it but was later caught on camera hocking it at the Commack Jewelry Exchange pawn shop. The ring was returned to JD and Mr. Nenos have to pay him restitution for the theft. Assistant District Attorney Sonia Sullivan was immensely helpful and was instrumental in retrieving the ring and getting JD justice. Another sub-contractor, Charles Doherty of Three C Contracting (10 Westwind Drive, Bohemia NY 11716) along with Mr. Procida, was also uninsured. In fact, both Mr. Procida and Mr. Doherty’s certificates of insurance were purchased after work have already been started and also after JD and Mrs. X’s insistence to verify their insurance. By August of 2012, a full year have passed since Albert was hired, the house was still far from finished. Things that required to be done included but not limited to: *The entire floor in the house have not been installed. *The electrical work is still incomplete. *The two bathrooms in the first floor is either still gutted or not finished. *The stairs to the first floor and basement has been removed but yet to be reinstalled. *There is no kitchen or any sort of appliances. *The ceiling is not finished. *Parts of the floor are bowing from the weight of floor boards to be installed but is still in boxes. Frustrated by the lack of progress on the house, Albert’s refusal to correct many of the issues of the work of him and his sub-contractors, and the recharging for corrections, JD had me do an audit with Albert to see where the money was going and how it was spent. In fact, Rich Ebert casted the suspicion as he came to JD and said: “I want to be on the same page as you, Albert Ioanna has not paid me.” Words were also coming back to JD and Mrs. X that Albert just took his entire family to a family reunion trip. Then, one of JD’s friends, “KM”, told him that Albert bragged to her that he brought his daughter, Missy Ioanna, who works for JC Penney in Queens, a new Honda Sedan on August 3rd 2013. Mrs. X and JD are beginning to believe that not only was Albert mismanaging the money he was paid, he was also using it for personal use that have nothing to do with the house. For the audit, I met with Albert at his home. He told me that he had all the expenses and figures written down in a book. But after a few minutes of waiting later, Albert told me that he was unable to find it. The only thing he was able to produce was the studs of checks he have written from a check book which recorded the amount of the check written and the name of the party the check was made out to. In all, $370,000 was supposedly accounted for, which leaves $140,000 being unspent. Afterwards, Albert admitted to JD that he mismanaged the money and asked him for a loan, saying: “I know you have heart”. He also tried to wrangle another $100,000 from Mrs. X , as he claimed he needed to finish the pool house. When Mrs. X confronted with him over the phone about the state of the house and property he told her that the house was finished and that JD was lying. After she received pictures and videos of the house from JD, she called Albert and he said: “I mismanaged the money and you can make it a loan and I will finish your house.” Less than a month later, Albert walked off the job, saying to JD that he is “not going to have a heart attack”. After Albert walked off the job, Mrs. X and JD begin to find out how he was overcharging them for supplies and for services, some of which was never rendered to begin with. Here are some examples: 1. Albert charged Mrs. X for various permits for the house’s renovations that he never applied for. 2. As a result of the house’s renovation, inspectors from the town of Smithtown came to look over the property and found that many of the neighbors have their fence lines and borders encroaching onto Mrs. X’s property. They all have to put their properties into compliance at their own expense. As a result, some of the neighbors, as retaliation, began to harass and threatened JD. In January of 2012, Albert had Raymond J. Suris, a lawyer, do him a favor by writing a letter to these neighbors, saying that he represented Mrs. X and basically telling them to back off. Later, when Mrs. X contacted Mr. Suris to follow up on this issue, he said that he didn’t represent her. He did it as pro-bono favor to Albert and yet Albert still charged Mrs. X for the lawyer’s service. 3. Michael Catizone, the electrician that was sub-contracted by Albert said he received money from Albert but it was for another different house and project. 4. Albert was paying for a storage space by charging it to my credit card instead of paying for it with the money Mrs. X paid to him. 5. According to my audit, Albert paid Charles Doherty of Three C Contracting $66,000. When confronted by JD and Mrs.X, Mr. Doherty confirmed it, saying that “Albert lost it, I did not.” Mrs. X and JD send to Albert’s insurance company a book full of documents, check copies and photos as evidence of the gutted and damage state of the house. The insurance company eventually returned the book – Mr.Ioanna’s accounting papers were also enclosed, showing him crossing out the $66,000 and replaced it with $76,000. Besides the aforementioned family trip to Pennsylvania and the Honda Sedan that he brought for his daughter Missy Ioanna, JD and Mrs. X started to find out that Albert was paying his other daughter’s (Grace and Dawn) bills as well. Grace Ioanna rents in Stony Brook. Because of a severe spending habit, her mother, Nancy Ioanna controls her money. Albert said: “I can’t trust her with money, she always has been a problem!” Albert said his other daughter Dawn Ioanna Dillon has huge bills from the invitro procedure of her twin sons. As her husband James Dillon was not working, Albert paid their mortgage. Dawn was also acting as go-between between her father and Mrs. X by forwarding his email to her. The Ioanna family knew what was going on and where the money for the cars, trips and bills was coming from. Albert was boasting that he had big jobs and one such job was doing the expansion for Nikkel in Commack’s Northgate Shopping Mall (1139 Jericho Turnpike, Commack NY 11725), which he was often at when he should have been at the Fisher House. He bragged to JD that he made a mistake in the kitchenette area at Nikkel and said: “I’m not fixing anything. That landlord is hard to work with!” JD went to Nikkel and spoke to the owner Nicole DiSalvo and was told their expansion was put on hold. JD suspects that Albert probably used Mrs. X’s money at the job at Nikkel. In late September of 2012, Barbara Eisenberg, the Senior Industrial Hygienist Division of Safety and Health from New York State Department of Labor conducted an inspection of the house and fined Ioanna Contracting Inc, along with the other sub-contractors for disturbing the asbestos in the wall during renovation. Mrs. X , on September 30th 2012, made a complaint to the Suffolk County Department of Consumer Affairs against Albert. A book, the same one that was sent to Albert’s insurance company, was sent in as support of her complaint. A hearing was conducted on early 2013 in which JD and myself also attended. During the hearing, Albert had the audacity to say that he was still owed $90,000. When Gregory Spencer presented him with 11 violations: which included not giving Mrs. X a written contract, and not placing the money she paid him into an interest bearing account as required by New York State Lien law, he mumbled about getting a lawyer. Albert also claimed the house is 60% to 70% complete. Perhaps he is talking about the basement as that is where JD is now staying in the house, down in the basement. Although still incomplete, the basement have a running bathroom. Even then, that bathroom have major issues to resolve. When Mr. Spencer asked why Albert did not return the remainder of the money to Mrs. X if the house was indeed 60% to 70% completed as he claimed, he couldn’t answer him. A second hearing was conducted in April of 2013. Albert showed up with his lawyer, Vincent Nofi, who used to work with Raymond Suris in the same law firm. Just like Mr. Suris, Mr. Nofi was representing Albert on a pro-bono basis, as Albert had worked on his house and Nofi felt “sorry” for him. JD, myself, along with Mrs. X’s lawyer, Terence Scheurer, and a friend to whom Albert told he brought a new car for his daughter was in attendance for that hearing. A third hearing was scheduled in May but Nofi sent a letter to adjourn the hearing as Albert and him were “co-operating” with Assistant District Attorney Michelle Pitman and Inspector Charles Reisinger, both assigned by the DA’s office on this case. As I said before, on May 31st, Albert had surrendered his license. According to Mrs. X’s lawyer, Terence Scheurer, Reisinger had spoken with Albert and his lawyer. It seems Albert and his lawyer was able to provide receipts to justify the taking of $510,000. Mr. Scheurer seriously question the validity of these receipts, as Albert have a history of overcharging, if not outright charging fraudulently for services never rendered. So right now, Albert Ioanna had taken more than $510,000. He walked away from the job with a house that is just a husk. Where all the money go? This is what Albert left Mrs. X. Albert have a home, a bed and all the amenities that his ill-gotten money have brought for him while her brother, a disabled man is living in the basement and sleeping on a mattress on the floor. During Hurricane Sandy, JD have to live with no power as a generator for the house was in the original plans. Of course, there was no generator because Albert pocketed the money and didn’t finish the job. During the snowstorm I have to shovel JD out from the basement whereas I am sure Albert had a snowplow for his home. Mrs. X and JD are working to have Albert Ioanna arrested. A similar case have happened in Rockland Country in which a contractor took $300K from a homeowner and walked off the job. The contractor turned himself in as an arrest for him was pending. Like Albert, this contractor did not treat the money as a trust, he failed to maintain an accounting of how the money have been used, and he did not return the money upon demand by the consumer. If that contractor is to be arrested for taking $300K, then Albert Ioanna taking $510K definitely earned him a trip straight to jail, do not pass go and do not collect $200.00.
This complaint and/or review was posted on HolySmoke.org on 08:58 am, October 30, 2020 (CST) and is a permanent record located at: https://www.holysmoke.org/scam/albert-ioanna-ioanna-contracting-inc/.
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