North Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- A Central New York family who says they were swindled by a local company tells NewsChannel 9 they’re relieved to hear that the owner of the company is facing charges in Pennsylvania.
The Petrocci family ordered a customized swing set at B and K Beds in North Syracuse. They spent $1,000 on the order, but never received the swing set or their money. For months the Petrocci’s called and emailed one of the owners – Melanie Evans – but they never got any answers, until now.
"Last night I received a phone call at around 10 p.m.," said Louis Petrocci. “He introduced himself and said, 'I’m Melanie’s brother,' and said that she stole money from [him].”
Louis would later find out from Melanie’s brother – Dave Sampson – that she’s in a Pennsylvania jail for fraud and forgery. Sampson said he pressed charges against her after she allegedly stole his identity and $10,000.
“She’s done this her whole life and it’s finally going to catch up with her…I’m just sad to say it's involved so many people and children,” Sampson told NewsChannel 9 in an interview over the phone.
“I couldn’t believe that someone could steal from their own family. I understand people go through hard times and I don’t know if they had an ulterior motive, but to steal from your family is beyond me,” Louis said.
The financial toll this has taken on the Petrocci family goes well beyond $5,000, after the family had to spend an additional $4,500 to get a new swing set for their kids.
And the emotional toll is far greater. The Petrocci’s hope justice is served.
“I hope that they’re charged fully. They've taken advantage of not only me, but their family and other people out there,” Louis said.
The Petrocci’s have filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, along with several other families from the area. Meanwhile, Evans is due in a Pennsylvania court later this month.