Seen him? Police seek NJ fake contractor accused of stealing $250K from homeowners
🔶 Phony contractor accused of stealing from homeowners in 3 NJ counties
🔶 A grand jury indicted the Matawan man, who remains at large
🔶 In addition to losing money, houses were left in disrepair, police say
Authorities have been searching for a Matawan contractor accused of ripping off homeowners in Middlesex, Mercer and Monmouth Counties for a total of about $250,000.
Olcay "OJ" Darkanat, has been indicted on nearly a dozen charges, while he has remained at large, according to South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka and Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.
The 61-year-old Darkanat allegedly stole money by pretending to be a home improvement contractor over a seven year span, going to residents in a number of communities, police said.
Prosecutor: Fake contractor struck in Middlesex, Mercer and Monmouth Counties
Darkanat used two business fronts in his long-term scam — Narrowing Construction of Matawan and Eagle Eye Home Remodeling of Whiting, Hayducka said.
Residents in South Brunswick, Monroe, West Windsor, East Windsor and Marlboro were among his victims, according to investigators.
He would give an estimate for repairs and take an initial down payment — and occasionally do minimal work before disappearing.
Sometimes, Darkanat would have subcontractors do work — but they would leave when they were not paid, police said.
The houses were left in disrepair and much of the work failed inspection.
Connecting the cases, Darkanat indicted in Middlesex County, still sought
Middlesex County Division of Consumer Affairs Investigator Anastasia Kokinos and South Brunswick Detective Bryan Sites started to connect the cases in September 2022.
A Middlesex County Grand Jury recently indicted Darkanat on 10 counts of third-degree theft and one count of second-degree misconduct by a corporate official.
Darkanat had not been taken into custody as of Wednesday.
“We heard from multiple victims who felt helpless that this man took their money and fled,” Hayducka said, commending “excellent team work” by investigators from the municipal and county levels.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.