On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Indictment No. 07-12-1251.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Reisner and Simonelli.
Defendant Anthony V. Iannuzzio appeals from a September 9, 2009 judgment of conviction for fourth-degree failure to register as a contractor, N.J.S.A. 56:8-136 and -151, and third- degree theft by failure to make a required disposition of property, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-9, for which he was sentenced to an extended term of ten years in prison with a five-year parole bar.
On this appeal, defendant raises these points for our consideration:
POINT I: THE STATE FAILED TO MEET ITS BURDEN OF PROOF BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT IN THAT THE GUILTY VERDICT FOR THEFT BY FAILURE TO MAKE REQUIRED DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY RECEIVED WAS AGAINST THE WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE AND MUST BE REVERSED.
POINT II: THE IMPOSITION OF A MANDATORY EXTENDED TERM SENTENCE OF TEN YEARS WITH FIVE YEARS OF PAROLE INELIGIBILITY IS EXCESSIVE AND NOT SUPPORTED BY THE PROPER ASSESSMENT OF THE AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS.
For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we find no merit in these arguments and, accordingly, we affirm the conviction and the sentence.
Darren Maglione, a homeowner, testified that he entered into a series of home improvement contracts with defendant. Initially, he hired defendant to dig a basement for an addition to his house. Defendant also offered to dig a backyard swimming pool at the same time for an additional price. The original contract was for about $13,650, and Maglione gave defendant a $3650 deposit.
Thereafter, according to Maglione, defendant convinced him to pay for ever-increasing amounts of work, for which Maglione paid in advance, but which never got done. Defendant also convinced Maglione that he could obtain discounted building materials for the construction of the addition to the house. Maglione therefore agreed to buy the materials through defendant, who accepted payment for the materials, but did not deliver most of them. Maglione testified that when a truckload of cement block was finally delivered, he had to pay the supplier for it himself, although he had already paid defendant for the materials. In all, Maglione paid defendant approximately $22,700.
Maglione testified that, although he obtained municipal permits for the work by February 20, 2007, defendant did not begin the work. After months of delay, defendant finally sent an employee named Shane McCaslin to start digging the basement. However, instead of completing the job, McCaslin dug a large hole in Maglione's back yard and left huge piles of dirt lying in the yard. Further, because the hole was dug close to the existing foundation, and was left open, rain washed away the sides of the excavation and the foundation of Maglione's house began to collapse. His neighbors complained to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) about run-off of mud into their yards, and DEP required Maglione to install a fence around the excavation. Additionally, on May 16, 2007, the township inspected the footings for the basement, discovered that the work was done improperly, and "red tagged" the project.
After many unsuccessful attempts to reach defendant, Maglione was finally able to reach him on June 5, 2007. At that point defendant "asked for more money" to pour the footings and get the concrete blocks delivered. Defendant promised that if Maglione paid him another $4500 "he would have it all done" and would charge nothing more until the project was finished. Maglione paid the money and on June 12 defendant sent workmen to pour the footings. However, the work was not finished, and on June 14, defendant called and demanded "another $1,000" to have "15 tons of stone" delivered. Maglione refused, and instead paid ...