Charges filed in alleged home improvement fraud | News, Sports, Jobs



PORTAGE — A Cresson man faces charges after he allegedly took $22,387.50 for home improvement work he failed to complete as outlined in a construction contract signed in October 2022.

Anthony John Dziabo, 37, owner of Dziabo Construction in Cresson, faces felony counts of theft, deceptive business practices and home improvement fraud. He was arraigned Monday before Magisterial District Judge John Prebish Jr. and released on $75,000 unsecured bail.

The charges stem from a home improvement project he started more than a year ago that remains unfinished, according to court documents. The project, a bedroom addition for the homeowners’ son, was to take two to three months, according to the contract between Dziabo and the homeowners, Portage Borough police reported.

Dziabo received advance payment of $14,925 at the time the contract was signed and $7,462.50 halfway through the work. A balance of $7,462.50 was to be paid when the work was complete, the report states.

The victims’ son hasn’t had a room due to the work that was never finished, court documents show.

While the addition remains unfinished, the homeowners pointed out several deficiencies, including that the entryway was not in the correct place. Currently, the only way to access the addition is by climbing a ladder through an open window, court documents state.

According to the affidavit, the victims said work was going well with the addition in October through November 2022. In December, Dziabo took time off to give his crew a break for the holidays and allegedly did not return to work on the project for several months.

Text messages show Dziabo didn’t respond to the victim or made excuses about other small projects before showing up to work for three days in June 2023, the report states.

While doing some work, one of Dziabo’s employees broke a kitchen window, which caused glass to go throughout the yard. The homeowner said Dziabo’s crew failed to clean that up, and, despite the fact Dziabo allegedly agreed to replace the window at no cost to the victim, that window has yet to be replaced, court documents state.

From June to November 2023, Dziabo did not return to the residence to complete any other work on the addition, the homeowners said. In November, he returned to find the work he had done was not correct, per the contract, to what the victims wanted done, the report states. According to the contract, the addition is several feet smaller than the agreed upon size. Electrical wiring, gutters, drywall, lighting, trim and flooring are among the construction items that remain incomplete.

Since November to March, Dziabo has not been to the property to do any work to the addition, according to the homeowners.

Police left a voicemail for Dziabo to contact them, but once Dziabo received the message, he texted the homeowners and said he was confused why police called him as he had recently talked with the victims, the report states.

On March 12, one of the homeowners told police she wanted to proceed with the charges, stating “This has been going on long enough and something needs done,” court documents state.

The charges were filed March 13, and Dziabo, a school board director in the Penn Cambria School District, was publicly asked to resign from his position during the board meeting Tuesday, which he did not attend. In a private discussion with board President Michael Sheehan before the meeting, Dziabo was asked whether he wanted to resign, which he declined to do, Sheehan said.

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