BRENTWOOD — A New Hampshire roofing contractor was convicted by a jury on Wednesday of bilking about $36,000 from customers around Rockingham County.
Timothy Currier, 32, of Bow, was found guilty of felony theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and three misdemeanor counts of unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
Currier walked out of court free on $10,000 personal recognizance bail, but will face up to 7½ to 15 years in state prison on the felony theft charge at sentencing.
A jury reached its verdict after two hours of deliberation in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Currier had been hired by homeowners in Newton, Danville and Plaistow between September 2011 and May 2012, and used the money to pay for personal expenses instead of hiring labor or buying supplies, according to prosecutors.
Currier operated Green Home Energy Systems, LLC until prosecutors with the state Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection & Antitrust Bureau brought a civil lawsuit and criminal charges against him for allegedly duping customers.
State prosecutor Quinn Colgan argued during closing statements that Currier was simply a con man who offered steep discounts to entice customers to hand over their money.
“This is a story about a con man whose business might have been failing, but saw an opportunity to take money from three helpless victims,” Colgan said during closing arguments.
Currier lied about being able to get a discount on roofing supplies, claiming he could bundle their orders with roofing jobs he was doing for churches in Salem or Haverhill, Mass.
Customers eventually learned that Currier made up the story about working on a local church.
“He gains your trust, your confidence, then he takes your money,” Colgan said. “No guns, no threats. Just clever lies and half truths. Like a pickpocket with a light touch, you don’t even know you’ve been robbed.”
Defense lawyer Patrick Carron argued his client was simply a businessman who fell on hard times, and had no intent to steal.
“You are the finder of facts in this case,” Carron told jurors. “They’re going to tell you that you must find him guilty. Use your experiences, your life experiences. Running a business isn’t any small task. It’s harder than it looks.”
Colgan said bank statements showed Currier had taken in $50,000 from customers over the course of a year and had siphoned $28,000 from his business account to pay for his personal expenses. Currier never reimbursed any of his customers, and eventually filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The state is now contesting Currier’s bankruptcy claim.
He still faces similar charges in Merrimack, Hillsborough and Coos counties.