Home Contractor Sentenced For Stealing $1 Million From Elderly Woman

State Attorney General Spitzer and New York State Police Superintendent James McMahon today announced the conviction and sentencing of a Capital District home contractor, who defrauded an elderly Schenectady woman of nearly $1 million.

Noel Hasslinger, 38, of Brunswick, was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in state prison, by Judge Polly A. Hoye, Acting Schenectady County Court Judge. In October, a Schenectady County jury convicted Hasslinger of 10 felony counts for his leading role in the theft of the life savings of Constance O. Davies of Schenectady, a 78-year-old retiree who suffered suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Hasslinger was found guilty of: four counts of grand larceny in the second degree, a "C" felony; one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree;one count of stock fraud; and four counts of money laundering in the second degree, all class "E" felonies. Judge Hoye also ordered Hasslinger to make restitution to Davies' estate in the amount of $930,000.

Hasslinger's accomplices in the scheme, John May and Jennifer Miller, previously pleaded guilty to crimes against Davies, and both testified against Hasslinger at trial. May, Hasslinger's business partner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, grand larceny, and scheme to defraud, and was sentenced to 3 to 9 years in state prison and restitution on November 8, 2002. Miller, a former girlfriend of Hasslinger's, pleaded guilty to criminal facilitation, and was sentenced to five years probation and restitution on November 6, 2002.

"Financial crimes against the elderly are intolerable, and my office will continue its aggressive prosecution of such cases," said Spitzer. "We will continue to unravel the schemes of dishonest contractors."

In 1997, Hasslinger and May, operating as Hasslinger Construction, solicited Davies for work, charged her $280,000 for $20,000 worth of labor and materials, and convinced her to sign a power of attorney giving them full control of her assets.

Over the next two years, Hasslinger and May, drained Davies' bank accounts, fraudulently liquidated her stocks and bonds and then used the proceeds for their own benefit, at a rate of $50,000 a month. Hasslinger and May, assisted by Miller, stole the last $100,000 of Davies' money while she was infirm in a nursing home, leaving Davies destitute upon her death in April of 2000.

Immediately after trial, Hasslinger was remanded to the Schenectady County Jail by Judge Hoye. Bail of $200,000 was subsequently set, by Appellate Division Justice Anthony Carpinello, pending Hasslinger's sentence and appeal.

The case was tried by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Maher.