State police are looking for more area residents who may have been victims of a man posing as a building contractor.
Dean Spicer Gray, 28, has been charged with 17 counts of theft, forgery and selling home improvements without a license, Maryland State Police said yesterday. He has also been charged in Maryland with fraudulently operating as a home contractor.
If convicted, Mr. Gray could face 160 years in prison, $14,000 in fines and repayment of any money stolen from the families. He is being held on $5,000 bail at the York County, Pa., Detention Center on similar but unrelated charges.
Anyone in Carroll or northern Howard and Montgomery counties who has done business with Mr. Gray or his company, DSG Builders should contact state police. "We honestly believe that he has done work or has attempted to do work for other people in the area," said Michael McKelvin, state police spokesman.
Charges stem from two incidents involving southern Carroll County families in which a contractor allegedly forged signatures of homeowners to obtain money or permits.
In the first case, a Sykesville area couple said a man agreed to build a home for them in that area. The couple then set up an escrow account, to which they had sole access, to pay for the new house.
"Many contractors have people do that so they know that there is money available to cover the building expenses," Mr. McKelvin said. "Only in this case, he went in and forged the owners' signatures and obtained the money without the couple knowing about it."
The victims said the man took about $79,000 from the account over a two-week period and never completed any work on the home.
Mr. McKelvin said in the other incident, the man was expected to complete home improvements for another family.
The contractor is also charged with stealing nearly $6,000 from that family, Mr. McKelvin said.
In both cases, the victims contacted the Carroll County state's attorney's office. The state's attorney and state police are working together on the investigation, Mr. McKelvin said. Information: 876-2101.