Springwater, N.Y. - A Rochester Police officer is among the growing number of people who claim they were conned by a Livingston County Contractor. “I’d say I’m probably out $5,000,” said Brian Monfort, who hired Maintenance Free last October.
The New York Attorney General’s Office confirmed it has received 14 complaints against companies owned by Douglas Shanley Jr. of Springwater and is “looking into” the matter.
A 13WHAM News investigation first focused on Shanley earlier this month.
Dozens of former clients accused him of changing changing not only his company’s name but his own name to prevent new clients from researching his past.
His past includes a stint in prison.
Brian Monfort of West Henrietta contacted 13WHAM News after a report aired earlier this month. He invited us to his home.
“This whole banister was dripping water so it actually looked like a waterfall,” he said pointing to discoloration and peeling drywall on the ceiling and wall. Monfort said he made several “hefty” down payments for supplies that were never delivered.
“First, he said he ordered the wrong shingles, then he said the truck showed up and the shingles weren’t on it. Then his excuses started to run out of steam,” said Monfort.
Workers tore off the old roof anyway and left it covered by a tarp.
“There were holes in my roof where the vents used to be and basically they tarped (sic) it over. A day later the winds came and it was blowing over my garage like a flag,” said Monfort.
Monfort said his roof was in limbo for five weeks. Then it started to rain.
The water poured through the recessed lights in the kitchen and pooled in the bedroom ceiling. ‘I would have to call Doug every single day and I wouldn’t get a response,” said Monfort.
Doug is Doug Shanley Jr, the owner of Maintenance Free. A 13WHAM News investigation uncovered that he is also the past owner of Five Brothers Remodeling and Jesse James Construction.
Both companies are steeped in judgments awarded to past customers.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Kathy DeMarco who said her 84-year-old parents are still trying to collect. “He keeps changing his name. One minute it’s Five Brothers, the next it’s Jesse James.”
DeMarco said she researched the company for her parents, Lydia and Herbert Curtis, but because of the name changes she did not learn of past complaints.
Shanley and his various companies have logged judgments in three counties totaling more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Changing a company name is legal. Yet some believe Shanley is also changing his own name at will.
Police officer Brian Monfort said when he researched Maintenance Free, and its owner, he found nothing amiss. That’s because Shanley represented himself as Stanley on the contract.
It wasn’t until Monfort received his cancelled checks he noted the “T” was doctored into an “H”. “He had fraudulently altered the checks and signed them using a different name,” said Monfort.
13WHAM News has learned Shanley has a criminal past. He served 19 months in 2005 for attempted burglary and possession of stolen property.
He was on parole at the time the Curtis Family said they paid him $3,800. "I think if I had my way he would be prosecuted and put in jail again,” said Herbert Curtis.
Another former client, Ron Booth, said Shanley crossed a criminal line. Booth filed a police report when doors and windows he purchased for a barn renovation went missing.
The contracting company he hired for construction was Maintenance Free.
“He put them in another job he did for someone else,” said Booth. “The way they found out about that is that he didn’t finish that job either.
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it has launched multiple investigations into Shanley and his various companies and is working with the District Attorney’s office.
The New York Attorney General's office did not connect complaints they received until 13WHAM News provided company names and alleged aliases used by Shanley.
A spokesman confirmed there are 14 complaints on file and the office is "looking into it."
Brian Monfort also filed a police report with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.
“There’s a fine line between penal law and civil law and unfortunately I have to give it to him. He’s very, very good and he knows where that line is,” said Monfort.
He added, "I was conned by a very, very smart con man."