Three NY Men Arrested for Attempting Chimney Cleaning Scam

New Canaan police arrested the three men on Thursday after they attempted to perform the work on a Mariomi Road home without the proper license or permit, according to Sgt. Carol Ogrinc.


Three New York men were arrested by New Canaan police on Thursday for allegedly attempting to perform a chimney cleaning work on a resident's home without a license, according to statement released by Sgt. Carol Ogrinc.

The department received a complaint on Jan. 18 from an elderly resident of Mariomi Road stating that two men appeared at her door and told her she needed her chimney cleaned, according to Ogrinc. The men stated they worked for All American Maintenance and Restoration and, after inspecting the chimney, explained the work they would be performing and convinced the resident to have the work done.

Ogrinc said that the men told the resident that it would cost $3,200 to complete the cleaning and repairs. The resident wrote a check in the amount of $1,000 as a deposit and the work was scheduled to begin on Jan. 24.

According to Ogrinc, three men arrived at the home on Thursday in a white van with New York license plates to clean the chimney. Officers were already on the in the area, Ogrinc said, and confronted the men. The officers determined that the men did not have a home improvement certificate, building permit, nor were they licensed contractors, Ogrinc said.

All three men—Frederick Dapice, 41, of 14 Laurel Road, Lindenhurst, NY, Paul Scalia, 35, of 217 Vernon Valley Road, East Northport, NY, and Robert Houlahan, 45, of 700 Nicholls Road, Deer Park, NY—were arrested and each charged with second-degree larceny, home improvement without a certificate of registration, working without a building permit and failure to obtain a tax permit. Dapice was additionally charged with impersonating a registered salesman/contractor and failure to provide notices in sales agreement.

Dapice and Scalia each posted a $5,000 bond, while Houlahan is being held on a $7,500 bond. Houlahan is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 25, while Dapice and Scalia are scheduled to appear on Feb. 6.

Steve S. January 25, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Most companies who charge a much cheaper rate to sweep your chimney are most likely trying to sell costly repairs, which may or may not even need to be done. If a chimney contractor tells you to get repairs done, ask for proof. Most legitimate companies will have no problems sharing photos of work needed. If they are telling you that you need a liner ask for proof. Our company uses an interior chimney scanning device, Chim-Scan, which will show you wether or not your liner is even damaged. The Chimney Safety Institute of America has a list of certified chimney sweeps, which have spent time and money keeping their education of the trade current. You can look for a certified sweep at www.CSIA.org. Also check Department of Consumer Protection and the BBB websites to see if a company you are considering have a curent license, or if there are multiple complaints against them. I own Total Chimney Care in Milford, CT and offer reputable service throughout New Haven and Fairfield counties. We have been in the same location for 17 years and have thousands of happy customers. 203-874-6772
Melissa January 25, 2013 at 08:34 PM
I use O'Connell Chimney in Stamford.
Four Jacks January 25, 2013 at 11:03 PM
I also use O'Connell, they are honest, fair, friendly, and never go for the upsell. I highly recommend them.
Anthony January 26, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Not all chimney comments are looking to scam customers.I personally have worked with one of the persons charged in this one particular incident,Robert Houlahan and he is a very honest person,and innocent.He was there to put an honest days work in. it is very hard today to find employment in these days,so he was hired that day to work for this company,went to work and this is what happened.Not fair to Mr.Houlahan.Good luck Robert.......Anyone who knows you ,knows your a an honest hard worker.stay away from the bullsxxt.......your friend ishcobibble
wrongly accused January 26, 2013 at 01:46 PM
I would also like to comment on this situation...this inspection was carefully evaluated at the time of sale...this house is from the 1800's and has a lining that is completely falling apart. Pictures were taken and proof was given...the ONLY thing these guys and this company is in the wrong for is not applying for a permit to do the work in time and one of them not having a salesmans license...I offer anyone to look up the company name though the dept of consumer protection and you will find that this companys license and registration IS in fact current and in good standing lic # 0626595....we are an honest company and only look to help people...there is no record of a " scam", for us to be accused of that they must have documentation thet the work was NOT needed,and that is not the case...our company name has been slandered with false reports and we plan on taking action againt those responsible...


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