A contractor has been arrested for falsely advertising himself as a Town of Hempstead-approved building permit expeditor in an attempt to scam the owners of nearly 2,000 Sandy-ravaged Oceanside homes.
Mark Rauch was released without bail Tuesday after being charged with forgery and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Nassau County prosecutors said the 63-year-old Oceanside man doctored a town letter so that it implied that his $499 per client permit expediting service was necessary to obtain building permits and approved by the township to do such work.
Authorities said neither claim was true. Residents and town officials referred the letters bearing a town seal to the district attorney’s office for investigation late last month.
One of the letters included the contact information for My Expediter LLC, a company owned and operated by Rauch.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which assisted in the probe, found that Rauch spent about $275 to have the letters delivered to 1,903 Oceanside homes the week before Thanksgiving.
At the time of the mailing, Hempstead town had waived all building permit fees for work to repair homes damaged by the Oct. 29 superstorm.
Rauch faces up to seven years in prison, if convicted.