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Warwick contractor ordered to repay over $10,000 in restitution for failing to comply with CRLB order

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Warwick man was ordered this week to pay $10,931.24 in restitution to a homeowner after failing to comply with a final order from the Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board (CRLB), which stemmed from substandard and unfinished work at a Warwick residence.

Anthony Arena (age 33) pleaded nolo contendere in Providence County Superior Court to one felony count of failure to comply with a final order of the Rhode Island Contractor's Registration and Licensing Board, over $5,000.

At a December 1, 2020 hearing before Superior Court Justice Luis M. Matos, Arena was given a five-year suspended sentence with probation and ordered to pay $10,931 in restitution to the Warwick homeowner.

"The defendant in this case was given multiple opportunities to make this right, and decided to do nothing. He took advantage of this homeowner, who is now out thousands of dollars with unfinished home repairs," said Attorney General Neronha. "My Office is holding individuals accountable when they wrong Rhode Island homeowners, like the defendant did in this case."

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between August and October 2018, Arena was hired to complete renovations at a Warwick home that were never fully completed, and the work he did complete was substandard.

Arena is the owner of Northwest Construction and Maintenance and entered into a contract with a Warwick homeowner to renovate a basement in August 2018. During this time, Arena installed partition walls and hung sheet rock as part of the renovations, but the work he performed was substandard. Additionally, he never completed the renovations that were agreed upon.

By the time the homeowner filed a complaint with the CRLB, he had paid Arena $10,931.24. Arena was ordered by the CRLB in March 2019 to repay the homeowner $10,931.24, but he never did.

In February 2020, the Office of the Attorney General charged Arena with one felony count of failure to comply with a final order of the Rhode Island Contractor's Registration and Licensing Board, over $5,000. Arena was arrested and charged along with 18 other contractors who were accused of failing to comply with final orders from the CRLB over substandard or unfinished work.

Special Assistant Attorney General Gregory Moore prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General. The case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General by the Department of Business Regulation.

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