Police arrest Jersey Shore contractor accused of scamming homeowners

Peter Rinaldi. (Image courtesy of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

Peter Rinaldi. (Image courtesy of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

Police have arrested a New Jersey contractor who they allege took nearly a quarter-million dollars from clients but never started the promised work.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office says 56-year-old Peter Rinaldi, of Little Egg Harbor, was arrested Friday more than a week after authorities started looking for him.

Rinaldi was located in Atlantic County after investigators developed information that he was possibly staying at a hotel in Galloway.

After an indictment was issued for the charges last month, detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Economic Crimes Unit attempted to serve a complaint summons on Rinaldi, who could not be located at any of his listed addresses.

Authorities say Rinaldi operated under the companies Donovan Mark Custom Builders and Mark Anthony Custom Builders.

They allege that he accepted checks from 12 clients totaling $247,225 between July 2014 and August 2016 for renovations at private homes but put the money into his personal bank account and spent in on himself.

Rinaldi is charged with theft by deception and theft by failure to make required disposition of property received. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River.

Prosecutors request that anyone who contracted Rinaldi for uncompleted work to contact Ocean County Prosecutor Economic Crimes Det. James Conroy at 732-814-1697.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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