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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 27, 2010

Morin nabbed on 14 counts of grand larceny

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — David Morin, owner of DWM Kitchens, has been arrested by the Guilderland Police, after he collected over $164,325.56 from multiple clients, and failed to order or deliver their supplies.

Morin, 54, of 104 Wagner Road in Altamont, was charged with 14 counts of third-degree grand larceny, and one count of first-degree scheming to defraud, both felonies, according to Investigator Charles Tanner of the Guilderland Police; Morin appeared in front of Judge Denise Randall in Guilderland Town Court, on May 13, and was released on $50,000 bail.

Stephen Rockmacher, Morin’s attorney, said his client was arrested by the Colonie Police Department on May 18, and is being held in Albany County’s jail on $25,000 bail. Rockmacher said Morin was currently trying to raise the money to post bail, but that he is expecting arrests to be made by the Rotterdam and Cohoes police departments after Morin’s release.

Two weeks ago, The Enterprise ran a story about Paul and Mariann Stelmaszyk, an Altamont couple who paid Morin $28,000 for kitchen cabinets and countertops that were never delivered. The Stelmaszyks had moved to Altamont in their retirement, and decided to renovate the house they bought, but have been living without a kitchen since November as a result of Morin’s failure to complete the project.

For the full story go online to www.altamontenterprise.com, under Guilderland archives, for May 13, 2010 — at that time Morin was hospitalized, and could not be reached for comment.

Christopher and Colleen Corbett, residents of the village of Colonie, told The Enterprise they were shocked and disappointed to learn about Morin’s arrest; they had a very positive experience with him in 2008.

The Corbetts spoke to Morin and viewed his showroom at the Altamont Fair in 2006, and contacted him in 2008 when they were ready to renovate their kitchen. Mrs. Corbett described him as friendly, patient, and available.

“We’ve never worked with such a conscientious contractor,” Mrs. Corbett said. Morin offered them a discount if they paid for the project in full, up front, and they did receive that discount, and had their cabinets and countertops delivered within six weeks of ordering, she said.

“Our entire experience was totally positive, and we can only guess that he fell on hard times,” said Mrs. Corbett

Steven Vanderwarker, however, said he thinks Morin is simply a criminal. He has a story similar to that of the Stelmaszyks. Vanderwarker said he and his wife have lived in Altamont for over 30 years, and Morin recommended was to them by a local contractor. Vanderwarker’s daughter had satisfactory work done by Morin several years ago, he said.

Vanderwarker placed an order with Morin in early 2008, but had to delay his kitchen renovation after that; he said Morin assured him that the cabinets were already in, but could easily be stored in a warehouse until Vanderwarker was ready to use them.

In February, the Vanderwarkers decided to expand the renovation, and placed a second order with Morin. Vanderwarker said Morin gave him several different dates for cabinet delivery, but never followed through, and eventually stopped answering phone calls.

“I decided to drive past his storefront one Saturday in April, just to see if he was there,” said Vanderwarker. Morin’s store is located at 1677 Western Ave. in Guilderland.  “And there was a notice on the door from another contractor. That’s when I thought, ‘Uh-oh, we’re in trouble,’” Vanderwarker went on. He and his wife had already given Morin $16,500 for the project.

“I should have known better than to put that money down, but I felt like everyone knew the guy, and had recommended him,” Vanderwarker said. He said he and his wife had contacted an attorney to see what could be done to get their money back.

“I just want people to know he is a crook and a criminal. He was working for no overhead, had no employees…but he had people’s money,” Vanderwarker said. His house still has no kitchen, and his wife washes dishes in the bathtub, he said.

“This should be a lesson to people to never give out a 100-percent deposit,” Investigator Tanner said.

Rockmacher said that, in addition to trying to raise money to post bail, Morin is hoping to raise enough money to complete the projects he has contracts out for, or to pay clients back what he owes. Rockmacher said he did not know how Morin planned to raise the money.

“Morin has said that the economy hurt his business, and that he was a bad businessman,” said Rockmacher. “He feels a lot of remorse for getting into this situation.”

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The Albany County District Attorney’s office is in the process of deciding whether or not to issue an indictment, Rockmacher said.