Contractor Theft? File Criminal Complaint

In august of 2013 I paid a contractor in New Jersey a check for $1700 to purchase materials and a down payment for a kitchen remodel. The contractor cashed the check but he never performed the services or purchased the materials. I filed a civil suit and won but of course he did not show up. Can I file a criminal complaint against him for theft 1 and a half years later and if so how do I begin?

The Money Pit Answer

I'm so sorry that happened to you. While I'm not an attorney I would think you could file a criminal complaint for theft. The first stop is your local police department. It sounds like a pretty clear case of theft by deception and the fact that a year has gone by should not matter. In fact, you gave the contractor more than enough time to make this right and the fact that he has not could be viewed as further proof of his ill intent. In my experience, contractors like this are less likely to ignore a criminal complaint than they are a civil complaint. In addition, the contractor is very likely in violation of the NJ Consumer Fraud Act. You could log an additional complaint with the NJ Attorney General's Office here: