Little Egg Harbor Contractor Sentenced to Five Years

Mar 27, 2019
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Peter Rinaldi, age 57, of Little Egg Harbor, was sentenced on March 22 by Judge Guy P. Ryan to five years in New Jersey state prison. This sentence is in connection with Rinaldi’s guilty plea to stealing more than $247,000 from eight homeowners who contracted with him to perform repairs on their properties in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Additionally, he was ordered to pay full restitution to the victims, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.

Rinaldi had already pleaded guilty to a separate charge of third-degree theft by failing to make lawful disposition of monies received from a homeowner he victimized in Brick Township. For that crime, Rinaldi was sentenced to three years in New Jersey state prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $34,475 to that homeowner. He will serve both sentences concurrently.

An investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit revealed Rinaldi was an owner of Donovan Mark Custom Builders, LLC and Michael Anthony Custom Builders, LLC. He was responsible for entering into construction contracts and managing the finances of the businesses. Between July 2014 and August 2016, Rinaldi entered into agreements to repair the homes of eight homeowners in Little Egg Harbor, Toms River, Ship Bottom and Point Pleasant. As a result, he received payments exceeding $247,000 that were given to him for the purpose of performing those repairs. Instead of utilizing those funds to make the necessary repairs, Rinaldi converted the money to his own personal use. Consequently, the homeowners were left with their projects unfinished. —P.J.

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