Man charged with pool work fraud

March 21, 2009 Cranberry Local News

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CHICORA — An Adams Township man allegedly pocketed more than $36,000 to install swimming pools at two Butler County homes, but never did the work, state police said.

District Judge Lewis Stoughton of Chicora issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Tom Hodak, 50, on two felony counts of theft by deception.

The charges followed separate investigations initiated last year by police and county detectives.

Frank Bogacz told police that he signed a contract with Hodak in February 2008 for the installation of a pool at Bogacz's Lardintown Road home in Clinton Township, court documents said.

Bogacz said when he contracted with Hodak he believed the defendant was owner of his own pool installation company.

The contract, investigators said, called for a 50 percent down payment, or $17,000. When Hodak in April began excavating, the homeowner paid another $5,000.

But in the months to follow, Hodak allegedly did no other work, despite Bogacz's repeated calls. In June, Bogacz asked the defendant for a refund.

Hodak was to get back to the alleged victim; but he never did, documents said.

While police were investigating the suspected theft, Butler County Detective Scott Roskovski began looking into a similar case involving the defendant.

In the other case, Becky Grey said she hired Hodak to install an in-ground pool for $20,700 at her Valley View Drive home in Summit Township.

The contract required a down payment of $10,350 and $4,140 for the start of excavation, documents said.

A police affidavit said Hodak "walked off the job and never returned" to finish the project.

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