Contractor charged with ripping off clients

SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Coventry contractor is charged with ripping off clients — taking hefty payments but never completing construction jobs — and passing a fraudulent check. State Police officers from the Financial Crimes unit arrested Scott M. Ferguson Wednesday.

Three different victims told police they’d hired Ferguson for various construction projects at their home or business, according to a news release from Rhode Island State Police’s Maj. Todd Catlow.

They made substantial payments for the jobs — over $90,000 in all combined — but Ferguson never returned to complete the projects.

Police investigators allege he put the cash to personal use: paying down personal debts, and making purchases not related to construction. He’s charged with three counts of unlawful appropriation over $1,000, and one count of writing fraudulent checks over $1,500.

After an arraignment before a justice of the peace Thursday morning, police said Ferguson was released on $10,000 personal recognizance.

Conviction on the charges of unlawful appropriation over $1,000 could mean fines of a maximum of $50,000 or three times the value of the money or property, whichever is greater; imprisonment of a maximum of 20 years, or both.

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