This is Why You Have to Hire a Pro

Man admits scamming elderly on windows

A local contractor admitted Wednesday that he swindled elderly customers by taking money for windows that he never delivered or installed.

Gary Mensinger, 48, of 126 Haverhill Road, Windham, has paid back the money, and on Wednesday he received a suspended jail sentence, and agreed to spend four days next month volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, helping to build homes in New Orleans, court records show.

Mensinger also will be required to take a business management course offered by the New Hampshire Home Builders Association, and will be barred from owning or managing any construction or contracting business for 10 years, though he may still work in the industry.

Mensinger was indicted on felony theft charges last year after an investigation by Nashua Police and the attorney general’s Elder Abuse and Exploitation Unit.

Mensinger was doing business under the name East Coast Exteriors, a limited liability corporation formed last year. His previous company, Wintech Exteriors, rated an “F” with the Better Business Bureau, for failing to respond to complaints, the organization’s Web site states.

Assistant Attorney General Tracy Culberson said Mensinger bilked two Nashua homeowners, taking $800 from one and $2,500 from another for windows that he never ordered, delivered or installed.

Investigators found that Mensinger went door to door offering replacement windows, but then would disappear after taking deposits, Culberson said when the case was brought.

“He did end up returning the money after we got involved,” Culberson said, but only after he “basically strung them along for months and months.”

New Hampshire does not require home contractors to be licensed, but homeowners can check out a business by checking references, looking them up with the Better Business Bureau and checking their registration with the secretary of states’ office.

Mensinger pleaded guilty to reduced, misdemeanor charges of “unfair or deceptive business practices” Wednesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for three years, and fined $2,000, half of which was also suspended.

Andrew Wolfe can be reached at 594-6410 or .

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