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Totowa Landscaper Charged With Ripping Off Wayne Customers

Nicholas A. Romanelli
Nicholas A. Romanelli Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy WAYNE PD

A Totowa landscaper conned three Wayne customers and a local tree company out of nearly $7,600 and may have done the same to others, authorities said.

Nicholas A. Romanelli, 20, was charged Tuesday with four counts of theft by deception and sent to the Passaic County Jail, where he remained on Wednesday.

Operating as "Nick’s Landscaping," Romanelli took a $2,050 deposit from a Park lane customer but "never performed the work and continued to avoid and delay service to the homeowner," Detective Capt. Laurence Martin said.

He also refused the homeowner's requests to cancel the contract and to have the down payment refunded, the captain said.

Romanelli "used a reputable tree service company name to commit the fraud," Martin said.

The company was a victim, too, he said: It lost $2,000 to Romanelli.

Detective Michael Polifrone investigated, found $7,590 in total fraud, and arrested Romanelli, the captain said.

Martin asked that anyone else who may have been victimized by Romanelli contact Polifrone: (973) 633-3530 .

The captain also urged anyone seeking contracting work to "ask for and investigate referrals from the parties involved.

"Reputable companies have no problem providing references," he said.

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