OCEAN COUNTY – 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.