The owner of Priority 1 Paving, Bill Pusateri, was arraigned in Dedham District Court Wednesday for two new felony charges of larceny over $1,200 by false pretenses. Pusateri pleaded not guilty on both charges.
He was taken away in handcuffs with the bail for each case set at $1,000 — totaling $2,000.
One of the alleged victims, Brian Bergeron, looked on from the crowd, shaking his head as Pusateri’s attorney defended him.
“He probably makes more money taking deposits than he does actually doing any work,” Bergeron said in an interview.
Bergeron is one of the many victims who say Pusateri scammed them out of thousands of dollars by taking their deposits and then never coming back to do the paving job.
Court records, consumer complaints and online reviews show a pattern of alleged theft all over the Boston area, including communities like Medford, Somerville, Canton, Quincy and Braintree.
In Dedham alone, six different customers told us they’re out a combined $21,000.
Steven Kaldeck, a Natick man who was autism, says he gave the paver $20,000 shortly after his parents died.
“I think he definitely preyed on us,” Kaldeck said. “It’s a whole other level of badness.”
A Natick man with special needs tells the NBC10 Boston Investigators that contractor William Pusateri stole from him during a time of immense grief.
The NBC10 Boston Investigators got our first chance to ask Pusateri some questions as court officials walked him to a van. We asked about what happened to the money and what he would say to his customers. He didn’t respond. He was taken to the Norfolk County Correctional Center.
If Pusateri posts bail, one of the conditions of his release is that he cannot do any paving jobs. He is due back in Dedham District Court on June 24 and is also facing larceny charges in handful of other jurisdictions.
Ryan Kath can be reached at email@example.com. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.