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Post date: August 17 1999

Home Contractor Pleads Guilty In Larceny Case

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that criminal charges brought against a Southern Tier home improvement contractor have resulted in a guilty plea and full restitution for the victim.

Michael A. Buttino, 53, of Endicott, pled guilty to Petit Larceny, a class A misdemeanor. Buttino was accused of taking a $2,000 deposit for home improvements, but failing to provide any services and refusing to refund the owner's money.

"This case sends a strong message that unscrupulous business practices of home contractors will not be tolerated," Spitzer said. "My office will aggressively pursue all legal remedies to ensure the integrity of the home repair industry and protect consumers from falling prey to these type of situations."

The case was filed by Spitzer's office after investigating a complaint made by Linda Gonzalez of Binghamton regarding the deposit she made for improvements to her home.

Buttino, owner of Buttino Concrete and Masonry Contractors, had originally been charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, which carries a sentence of imprisonment up to four years.

At the time of the plea, Buttino acknowledged that he engaged in this illegal conduct. As part of the plea agreement, Buttino fully refunded the consumer's money, and therefore was given a conditional discharge for one year.

The case was filed in Endicott Village Court on July 31 and was assigned to Judge Deborah Jo Harter.

This case was handled by Senior Investigator Jon Wescott and Assistant Attorney General Carol Cocchiola of the Attorney General's Binghamton Regional Office.