Manchester roofer gets prison time for theft in 2 countiesBy JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent
May 12. 2014 7:13PM
BRENTWOOD — A Manchester-based roofing contractor who allegedly took more than $17,500 from customers in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties was sentenced to 2 to 12 years in state prison on Monday.
Roger Bernier, 48, pleaded guilty to two theft charges in Rockingham County Superior Court as part of a consolidated plea deal with state prosecutors.
Bernier was indicted in Rockingham County for taking roughly $7,450 from three customers in Salem between April and May 2012, and never completing the work, an indictment says.
Bernier also took payments from three other victims in Hillsborough County.
“He is another case in a series of contractor prosecutions we have done where (people) have taken prepayment for services and don’t do any of the work, and do not buy supplies for the job,” Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti said. “It’s another case of pure theft.”
The case was prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau.
As part of the plea agreement, Bernier paid $8,000 of his $17,500 in court-ordered restitution on Monday. Another $2,000 will be paid to the state within 45 days, according to Boffetti.
He said that money will be handed over to victims as soon as possible.
Prosecutors say Bernier — who did business as 5 Below Exteriors — promised one Salem couple he would install a new roof at their home and reseal their driveway. Bernier took a total $6,100 in payments for the two jobs, but only did about $3,400 in work on the roof and performed no work on the driveway, prosecutors said.
Bernier took a $2,000 deposit on April 20, 2012 from another customer after agreeing to install a roof at his home. That work was never done and the deposit was never returned.
Indictments say Bernier also partially completed a third job between April and June 2012, when he received $5,400 in payments but completed only $2,650 worth of labor.
Bernier also received a suspended 3- to 6-year prison sentence from Judge Marguerite Wageling. That sentence can be imposed if Bernier does not comply with any terms of his plea agreement.