NEWPORT CITY -- A North Troy man convicted of home improvement fraud was back in court after failing to make payments on his restitution and taking a large sum of money from a fellow North Troy man for a home improvement project, in violation of his probation.

Leonard Percy, 33, admitted to two probation violations Jan. 10 in Orleans Superior Court-Criminal Division and was re-sentenced to four to 24 months, with 15 days to serve.

Percy was convicted Jan. 26, 2011, of felony home improvement fraud after pleading no contest to the charge.

As part of his probation, Percy was ordered to pay restitution and to not carry more than $50 at a time. He is not allowed to take money for home improvements projects, either.

Probation officer Shelia Martin wrote in her report that on Nov. 28 she received a letter sent to Percy from the restitution unit, saying that Percy had missed eight payments. Percy earlier agreed to pay $250 every Monday.

On Oct. 25, Martin wrote, trooper Callie Field reported that Percy had cashed a check for $7,500 from Jim Ferguson of North Troy, who hired Percy to perform work on his house and garage.

Percy admitted Jan. 10 to cashing Ferguson's check Sept. 9 at Passumpsic Savings Bank.

When he was first accused of the violation, Percy told probation officers that he did cash the check but he gave the money to his wife, Martin said.

Martin's report says that Percy is facing a home improvement fraud charge in Lamoille County.

Percy is on the state's home improvement fraud registry. Vermont State Police issued a warning about Percy earlier in the fall, saying he may have perpetrated home improvement frauds in counties throughout northern Vermont.

State police have had Percy under investigation this year, after they say he stopped unsolicited at a home in Johnson in July to offer to make home improvement repairs.

He took $5,200 as down payment for the work and then did not return to do it despite repeated efforts by the resident to contact him, state police said.

"The investigation has revealed that Percy has possibly had several similar incidents throughout Lamoille, Franklin and Chittenden counties," state police said in October.

State police in Lamoille County continue to seek information and complaints about Percy.

"Home improvement problems are among the top 10 complaint categories in Vermont and throughout the country," according to a statement Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, on the AG's website. "Because your home is probably your most valuable asset, it is particularly important that you protect that asset by making wise decisions when having work done on your home."

Sorrell encourages those who believe they have been the targets of a fraud to contact the state consumer protection division at the AG's office.

"If you believe you have been defrauded by a contractor, you may also file a police report of home improvement fraud with your local police department or other law enforcement agency," he wrote.


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