OCEAN COUNTY January 7, 2021 – Two fraudulent contractors have been indicted for theft as a result of taking funds from residents affected by Superstorm Sandy, stating they would repair their homes and subsequently did not.
After Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit performed an investigation, it was revealed that Jonathan Price, 43, of Manahawkin, and Scott Cowan, 58, of Demarest, created the now-defunct Price Home Group, LLC, in February 2013 after Superstorm Sandy.
Between March 2013 and March 2016, Price Home Group had entered into 31 contracts with homeowners in multiple towns across Ocean and Atlantic Counties. All contracts were said to repair Sandy-ravaged homes or elevate their homes to protect them from future storms.
Further investigation uncovered how Price and Cowan performed little to no work on the victims’ homes, despite receiving compensation. Price and Cowan instead used the approximate $2 million of compensation for personal use rather than repairing homes. On May 29, 2019, Price and Cowan were arrested and charged.
“These two defendants preyed upon numerous homeowners who were at the lowest, most vulnerable points of their lives following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. They took advantage of people who were utterly helpless, who trusted that the defendants would help them get them back into their homes as quickly as possible,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer stated. “Rather than honor their contractual obligations, these defendants betrayed the victims’ trust in favor of their own unjust enrichment, and now they will be made to answer for their unscrupulous behavior,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
On January 6, Price and Cowan were both indicted for 18 counts of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property (Funds) Received.
PRESS RELEASE-SANDY FRAUD CONTRACTORS CHARGED WITH SECOND DEGREE THEFT
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Jonathan Price, 41, of Manahawkin, and Scott Cowan, 57, of Demarest, were both arrested and charged with Second Degree Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property (Funds) Received in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-9. Price and Cowan were the owners of the now-defunct Price Home Group, LLC.
An investigation by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit revealed that Price and Cowan established Price Home Group, LLC, in February 2013 in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. From May 2013 through September 2015, Price Home Group entered into contracts with thirty-one homeowners and one subcontractor in multiple towns throughout Ocean and Atlantic Counties to repair Sandy-ravaged homes. The investigation further revealed that despite receiving considerable compensation in excess of two-million dollars from these individuals, Price and Cowan performed little to no work on the victims’ homes, and instead misappropriated the monies for their own personal use.
Prosecutor Billhimer would like to thank the Stafford Township Police Department, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department, Long Beach Township Police Department, Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs, and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs for assisting the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in conducting this very extensive and thorough investigation.
The public and media are reminded that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law
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