A Texas man is awaiting extradition to New Jersey on charges he defrauded four Ocean County homeowners, three of them in connection with repairs on their Superstorm Sandy-damaged homes, the Ocean County prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.
Paul Rueda, 46, of League City, Texas, was arrested in Texas in connection with the thefts from homeowners in Brick, Point Pleasant and Little Egg Harbor Township, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said.
Rueda, the owner of PKR Construction, is accused of stealing in excess of $75,000 entrusted to him by the homeowners as part of separate construction contracts. Three of the homeowners hired Rueda to repair damage to their homes caused by hurricane Sandy.
The investigation began after the homeowners reported paying Rueda pursuant to the contract but that Rueda failed to complete the projects. Detective Eric Ludwick of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit investigated and Rueda was charged with second-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, the prosecutor’s office said.
Rueda was arrested by the League City Police Department and is being held at the Galveston County Jail, where he is awaiting extradition to New Jersey.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Heisler. The Brick Township Police Department, Point Pleasant Police Department and Little Egg Harbor Police Department assisted in the Investigation.
Anyone with information regarding Rueda or PKR Construction is asked to contact Ludwick at 732-929-2027.