From Douglaston Patch:
A 59-year-old Long Island man has been accused of bilking six Queens residents, who paid the defendant more than $500,000 to make repairs to their homes, the Queens district attorney said.
Wayne T. Drinkwine, 59, of St. James, L.I., was arraigned Aug. 19 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Gene Lopez on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal mischief, Queens DA Richard Brown said.
He had been indicted on similar charges the day before by a Queens Supreme Court grand jury, but more counts were then added. The case will be tried in the Supreme Court, a DA spokesman said.
The defendant, who also goes by the name Duke Russo, could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted, the DA said.
“The victims in this case, it is alleged, hired the defendant in some instances more than three years ago and paid him considerable amounts of money to remodel their residences,” Brown said. “Instead, it is alleged that he began demolition work on their properties and then took the money and ran.”