NEWBURYPORT – A judge issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for a former interior decorator who failed to pay back more than $7,900 to another local business owner as ordered by a Newburyport District Court judge last year.

Rowley resident Ronald Silverstein was ordered to pay $7,923 to NGV Industries after Judge Mary McCabe found in favor of the Water Street company's complaint against the Newburyport interior decorator, according to court documents. 

The arrest warrant is the latest in a string of legal troubles for Silverstein, who faces several charges of larceny over $1,200 for allegedly swindling customers while operating Just Imagine Design on Winter Street. He is accused of failing to complete at least six custom window treatment installations and pocketing tens of thousands of dollars. 

Silverstein first appeared for arraignment in Newburyport District Court in April 2018. His business closed about the same time as his first court appearance.

Five months later, he was indicted on six larceny charges in Superior Court. Two of those charges stem from complaints filed by Rowley police, while a third was brought by Newburyport police.

Other charges involve victims from outside the area, including one who lives in Dedham and another in Wellesley. The same records show that the grand jury deemed Silverstein a common and notorious thief.

In May, Silverstein was arraigned in Lynn District Court on a larceny charge involving a Lynn resident. 

An Essex County District Attorney's Office spokesperson said Silverstein's trial on those charges is scheduled for April, 21. He is now out on bail.

In District Court on Wednesday, an NGV Industries representative told Judge Allen Swan that Silverstein had only paid back $10 – of more than $7,900 owed – since the court order.

Swan quickly ruled that he was in default of McCabe's order and issued a capias warrant for Silverstein's arrest. A capias warrant is a civil order to ensure a court appearance. 

Court documents show NGV Industries was granted a capias warrant in January. 

That warrant allows the victim to hire a Sheriff's Department official to arrest Silverstein and bring him before a judge. But the warrant does not compel Silverstein to pay the victim back.

 Over the last year, judges in the same courthouse have warned other victims that they may never get their money back.  

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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