Attorney General James and State Police Superintendent Bruen Announce Conviction of Contractor for Defrauding Homeowners Out of More Than $50,000 in the Capital Region
Dwight Fiero, Who Falsely Claimed to Be a Combat Veteran,
Pleaded Guilty to Felony Scheme to Defraud and Grand Larceny
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York State Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen announced the conviction of Dwight Fiero, a/k/a David Fiero, 44, for his role in a contractor fraud scheme perpetrated against homeowners across the Capital Region. Fiero pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree in Albany County Court before the Honorable Andra Ackerman. Fiero’s conviction resolves a 10-count indictment unsealed earlier this year, charging him with pocketing more than $50,000 in deposit monies from numerous homeowners meant for home improvement projects, all while he was awaiting sentencing on a conviction for another case.
“Dwight Fiero shamelessly cheated New York homeowners and undermined our nation’s integrity to line his own pockets,” said Attorney General James. “Let this serve as a loud and clear message that there is no place for fraud in our state and bad actors will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. My office remains committed to delivering justice, and we will continue to use everything in our toolbox to protect the homes and wellbeing of all New Yorkers.”
“Our joint investigation revealed that this contractor misrepresented himself as a combat veteran in order to cheat homeowners out of their hard-earned money,” said Superintendent Bruen. “We will continue to partner with the Office of the Attorney General to hold those who attempt to defraud homeowners accountable for their actions.”
This conviction is the result of a joint investigation by the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau and the New York State Police (NYSP) Financial Crimes Unit. The investigation began in the fall of 2020 after numerous homeowners filed complaints with the NYSP and the OAG’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.
In June of this year, Fiero was charged by an Albany County grand jury with stealing more than $50,000 from numerous Capital Region homeowners, between April 24, 2020 and November 22, 2020, while he was released and awaiting sentencing on an unrelated case. According to prosecutors, Fiero advertised himself as a military combat veteran on Facebook Marketplace who could build and install backyard decks. Fiero advertised his services under the businesses War Cry Contracting, Veterans Contracting, and Battle-Scarred Contracting. Fiero then lured unsuspecting homeowners who were looking to have home renovation projects completed during the COVID-19 pandemic into falsely supporting who they thought was a veteran.
Fiero was charged with soliciting large, upfront deposits for work, and then failing to perform the work or so poorly performing the work that homeowners had to pay to have everything removed. In one instance, Fiero enclosed a porch for a homeowner whose home had gray siding, but instead he used tan siding on the enclosed porch — leaving her with an enclosed porch that was of such unsound design that it needed to be replaced altogether and a home with two completely different colors of siding.
Fiero, who is currently serving a sentence of 18 months to three years for his prior conviction on the unrelated case, faces a sentence of not less than two to four years and not more than three to six years in state prison when he is sentenced by Judge Ackerman on December 7, 2021. This sentence will run consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving.
Attorney General James wishes to thank the NYSP Financial Crimes Unit for its invaluable assistance in this investigation.
The OAG investigation was conducted by Investigator Samuel Scotellaro, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Mark Spencer and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes. Principal Auditor Investigator Meaghan Scotellaro, under the direction of Chief Auditor Kristen Fabbri, provided forensic analysis during this investigation.
The OAG case is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Benjamin S. Clark of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, with the assistance of Legal Support Analyst Jamirah Williams-Johnson. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph G. D’Arrigo. Both the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau and the Investigations Bureau are part of the Division for Criminal Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.