NEWBURYPORT – The family of a late Plum Island man recently received more than $5,000 from a Reading contractor charged with larceny for not completing work at the man's 70th Street home last year.
Edward Stack, 67, of Minot Street, Reading, was charged with larceny by false pretenses by a clerk magistrate in December. Roughly nine months later, the larceny charge was generally continued for six months with the understanding Stack would immediately pay his victim's family $5,450 in restitution.
Newburyport District Court records show Stack paid back the family Sept. 16 following his appearance in court. If Stack stays out of trouble with the law for six months, the larceny charge would be dropped.
The victim spoke to Newburyport police Officer Charles Vorderis on Sept. 17, 2019, saying a contractor he hired on Craigslist, an online bulletin board site, to replace kitchen cabinets at the 70th Street address had taken his money but failed to do the work.
Stack, according to the officer's report, gave the victim an estimate of $10,901 for the work with half to be paid upfront as a deposit. The family agreed and wrote him a check for $5,450.
"The family was told that it would take several weeks for the cabinets to come in from Philadelphia," Vorderis wrote in his report.
When several weeks passed by without hearing from Stack, the family called him numerous times with no luck. The victim then called Stack from a different phone using a fake name. When Stack answered, the victim tried to get Stack to accept new business.
"Although Mr. Stack did return the call, (the victim) believes that when he mentioned Plum Island, Stack realized he was being set up and declined the business," Vorderis wrote in his report.
Vorderis reached Stack via phone and was told that some of the cabinets had finally arrived from China but he was still waiting for the rest to show up.
Stack went on to tell the officer that he was embarrassed the police had been called and that he was suffering from a serious medical condition. He also said he would call the victim right away to explain the situation.
But weeks later, the call was never placed. That prompted the victim to reach out to Vorderis again. saying the kitchen remained torn apart and unusable.
Voderis then filed a complaint against Stack in District Court setting the stage for a clerk's magistrate hearing. At the hearing Dec. 13, , the clerk magistrate found enough probable cause to formally charge Stack with larceny by false pretenses, according to court records.
Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.