Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120
BROCKTON – A Plymouth man has been arraigned on numerous fraud charges that he allegedly used his swimming pool company to defraud Massachusetts homeowners out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz has announced.
Today, in Brockton Superior Court, Steven V. Docchio, 56, pleaded not guilty to five counts of Home Improvement Contracting Violation, four counts of Larceny of Property Over $1,200, three counts of Tax Evasion, two counts each of Filing a False Statement Under the Penalty of Perjury, and State Building Code Violations, and one count of Money Laundering. The Commonwealth requested that Docchio be held on $100,000 with pretrial probation conditions. He was ordered held on $50,000 cash with the conditions that should he make bail, Docchio wear a GPS and be home confined, no longer work in home contracting, and surrender his passport.
The indictments allege that Docchio operated a fraudulent construction company, Xtreme Pools and Construction, in which he allegedly accepted more than $500,000 from homeowners for home improvement projects he failed to complete.
The indictments followed a six-month investigation by the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office and the East Bridgewater Police Department. Upon return of the indictments, investigators sought and obtained an arrest warrant for Docchio. Investigators believe that Docchio has fled the jurisdiction and are actively searching for him.
During the height of the pandemic, one of the most sought-after home additions was installing a swimming pool. Docchio allegedly took advantage of the public demand and provided homeowners with unrealistic completion dates. Docchio misled homeowners to believe that he had close connections with building departments and material vendors, and would be able to construct pools within weeks.
The indictments allege that Docchio accepted large deposits in advance from homeowners, and promised to order materials necessary to complete their projects. After taking the deposits, Docchio either delayed starting the project altogether, or dug out large holes in residents’ yards that did damage to other structures and created a safety hazard for families with children.
When homeowners confronted Docchio over the lack of progress on projects, he allegedly offered false assurances that he had ordered materials and would complete the job as soon as the items arrived. After collecting several payments, Docchio allegedly would abandon the job and leave the project unfinished.
Homeowners suffered additional harm, including damage to their homes from shoddy or incomplete work, and added expenses from the need to hire replacement contractors to restore their property.
According to the indictments, Docchio allegedly submitted false information to local building departments, which concealed his lack of a construction license. Docchio fraudulently obtained approximately $100,000 in government assistance under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, while at the same time collecting more than $100,000 from unsuspecting homeowners. Additionally, Docchio failed to file taxes for three years, concealing the amount he took from homeowners for abandoned jobs.
Docchio allegedly schemed to steal from homeowners all over Plymouth County, on Cape Cod, in the Boston area, in Central Massachusetts and on the North Shore.
Docchio was scheduled to appear in court previously but defaulted and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was taken into custody last night when he was pulled over for speeding along Route 3, and his warrant status was revealed.
Assistant District Attorney Alex Zane is prosecuting the case, and East Bridgewater Police handled the investigation, led by Sgt. John Smith.