Sandy contractor convicted of fraud out of jail before victims are back home

Posted: Updated:

A contractor who defrauded dozens of Superstorm Sandy families has been released from prison, long before some of his victims are back home.

When Jamie Lawson was sentenced last summer to up to 10 years in prison, with the possibility of parole much earlier, former customers like Jim and Carol Ferraioli weren’t happy. In an interview with Kane In Your Corner, Carol Ferraioli bitterly predicted: “He’ll be out of jail long before our house even gets done.”

She was right.

RELATED: Contractor gets prison term for defrauding Sandy victims 

Lawson was released from prison to a halfway house last week, after serving six months. Meanwhile, the Ferraiolis’ home remains much as it has for the past four years, elevated on temporary pilings, rotting away in the elements. The Ferraiolis had obtained a Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (“RREM”) grant, but after lifting the house and doing minimal work on a foundation, Lawson walked off the job, taking the Ferraiolis’ money with him. In all, he admitted defrauding 41 Sandy victims out of almost $2 million.

“He should have served the full 10 years as far as I’m concerned,” Carol Ferraioli says. “I think his sentence was more than lenient. We told our heart and soul to the judge and I just feel that he should have been made an example of.”

There is finally some good news for the Ferraiolis. Because their house is now a total loss, they were approved for a new reconstruction grant. They signed a contract with their new contractor on Tuesday night.

Because of a funding shortfall, their new home will be several hundred square feet smaller than the one they lost. But after more than six years of making mortgage payments on an uninhabitable property, they say they’re just looking forward to having a home to go back to.

“If everything goes OK, we are looking to hopefully be in our home in the next year or so,” Carol Ferraioli says. “And we can’t wait to get in our home.”

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."