Waterbury man charged with defrauding borough woman

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Emery Vajda

NAUGATUCK — Police charged a Waterbury man Tuesday with passing himself off as a contractor to defraud a borough woman out of more than $9,000 for construction that was never completed in her home.

Emery Vajda, 51, of 76 Horseshoe Drive in Waterbury, operating under the business name Jimmy V Home Repairs, was hired to build a $15,000 addition to a woman’s home on Nixon Avenue, said Lt. Robert Harrison, spokesman for the Naugatuck Police Department. Someone had recommended Vajda to the woman, who paid him most of the money before the work was done, Harrison said.

Vajda took the initial payment in May, Harrison said. He ordered materials, had a surveyor take measurements and draw up a map by mid-June, Harrison said. Vajda then pulled aluminum siding off the house, trimmed trees, dug a hole in the back yard, pulled out a large rock and left it in the front yard, Harrison said. He did not secure the proper permits with the borough to begin digging, Harrison said.

Later, Vajda installed footings for the foundations, which the borough building inspector did not approve because they were not at the right grade, Harrison said. Inspectors said he did such a poor job pouring concrete that the structure could not be built on top of his foundations, Harrison said.

The homeowner repeatedly tried to get in touch with Vajda over the summer, but he ignored her calls or told her the work was a subcontractor’s fault, Harrison said. After many disputes over the phone, the homeowner called police in August, Harrison said.

Police discovered that Vajda had a valid home improvement contractor’s license from June to November of 2007, but had not renewed it since, Harrison said. The Department of Consumer Protection reported receiving several complaints about his company over the years. The Better Business Bureau lists a Jim Emery Vajda as the primary contact for “Jim V Home Repairs,” based in Shelton and with one complaint in the last three years of a problem with a service.

Vajda surrendered to police Tuesday on charges of third-degree larceny and operating without a contractor’s license. He was released on a $5,000 bond to appear Jan. 18 in Waterbury Superior Court.

Vajda was convicted of violating home improvement contract requirements in Fairfield eight years ago and in Shelton two years ago, according to court records.