Brothers busted for bilking elderly Vernon woman out of $56k

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VERNON - On Thursday, police arrested two brothers for home improvement fraud, and they are seeking additional victims.

Wesley and David Zaino are both appeared in Rockville Court Thursday morning on larceny and burglary charges.

In March, Vernon police received information from Glastonbury Police about a possible fraud involving an elderly resident.

According to police, the victim lived alone and had been approached by two brothers, Wesley and David Zaino, about conducting some home repairs. The brothers were doing business under the name Zaino Construction.

According to police, the victim paid the brothers a total of approximately $49,484.52 for home repairs between June 2014 and March 2015.

These repairs included a new roof, painting, curtains, flooring, sidewalk repair, electrical wiring and other miscellaneous improvements. Although the victim paid fully for the work, police said very little of it had been completed, and most of the work that had been completed was of sub-standard quality that did not pass inspection. As an example, the brothers stripped the shingles from more than half the roof of the victim's house in October 2014, and when police began investigating in March 2015, the victim’s roof was still haphazardly covered with only a tarp and there had been water damage inside the home.

Police determined that the Zaino brothers were not state-licensed contractors. The brothers could account for only a small portion of the money paid to them by the victim, despite the fact almost none of the work had been completed. The brothers did not apply for building permits for any of the work.

Police also found the Zaino brothers allegedly stole jewelry from the victim while they had access to her house. This jewelry was pawned at area pawn shops. Some of this jewelry was recovered. According to police, the jewelry stolen by Wesley Zaino was valued at approximately $5,700, and the amount allegedly stolen by David Zaino totaled approximately $1,000.

Wesley Zaino, 26, of Hebron, was charged with first-degree larceny, first-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, second-degree larceny, second-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, third-degree burglary and making home improvements without a license. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Wesley Zaino was also arrested on two outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court. The first warrant was held by East Hampton Police for second-degree failure to appear, and bail for that warrant was set at $2,500. The second warrant was held by Wethersfield Police for first-degree failure to appear and bail for that warrant was set at $10,000.

David Zaino, 27, of the same address as his brother in Hebron, was charged with first-degree larceny, first-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, second-degree larceny, second-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, third-degree burglary, fifth-degree larceny and making home improvements without a license. His bail was set at $75,000.

Police are continuing to investigate, and if you believe you may have been a victim of the Zaino brothers, contact Vernon police at 860-872-9126, ext. 224.

Police are reminding residents to verify the credentials of anyone they are considering hiring for home improvements. Home improvement contractors must be licensed through the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection and licenses can be verified on the State of Connecticut website.