Brooklyn contractors indicted for allegedly
stealing $93k for plumbing, gas work
By Nelson A. King
Law enforcement officials
announced on Tuesday that two unlicensed
Brooklyn contractors have
been arraigned on charges of grand
larceny and scheme to defraud for
fraudulently representing they were
licensed plumbers and allegedly taking
money from five customers in
Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and
Queens to do work before walking off
the jobs without completing or properly
performing the work.
“These defendants allegedly
engaged in a lengthy and brazen
scheme that took advantage of homeowners
who put their trust in them,”
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric
Gonzalez said in a statement. “We
will continue to investigate fraud and
corruption in the home improvement
industry and to seek justice for those
who are victimized by unscrupulous
or dishonest contractors.”
Acting New York City Department
of Investigation Commissioner
Daniel Cort said, “These defendants
posed as professional, licensed
plumbers when they were not; and
engaged in plumbing, gas and other
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remodeling work that they were not
licensed to perform; and then failed
to complete the work, stealing tens
of thousands of dollars from New
York City homeowners, according to
“Their charged actions reflect no
regard for homeowner safety, as they
walked off unfinished jobs, leaving
homeowners in the costly position
of having to hire credentialed professionals
to complete the jobs correctly,”
he added. “DOI thanks the
Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office
and the City Department of Buildings
for their partnership on this
important investigation that demonstrates
how corruption can undermine
The Brooklyn DA identified the
defendants as Peter DiMassi, 49, of
Staten Island, and Marcello Stemma,
42, of Bethpage, New York, and
the company that they co-own, Best
Priced Construction, Inc., of Brooklyn.
They were arraigned on Wednesday
before Brooklyn Supreme Court
Justice John Hecht on an indictment
in which they are charged with thirddegree
grand larceny and first-degree
scheme to defraud.
They were released without bail
and ordered to return to court on
Feb. 1, 2022.
Gonzalez said that, according to
the investigation, between Sept. 21,
2017 and Aug. 5, 2021, the defendants
contracted with five different customers
to perform plumbing and gas
work at their respective properties,
one in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan,
two in the Bronx and one in Queens.
The defendants, according to the
investigation, allegedly claimed verbally
or in written estimates that
they were licensed plumbers or that
they were authorized to work under
a licensed plumber – “which was not
true,” Gonzalez said.
“In fact, they were not licensed and
had no legal professional affiliation
with the licensed plumbers whose
license numbers were listed on their
estimates and contracts,” he said.
Gonzalez said the customers allegedly
paid the defendants amounts
ranging from $7,000 to $34,000 for
work that was not properly performed
At each property they allegedly
walked off the job after getting into a
dispute with the customer, who then
had to hire another contractor to
finish the work or spend additional
funds, the district attorney said.
People who believe they have been
victimized by these defendants are
encouraged to contact the District
Attorney’s Action Center at 718-250-
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