When Jean Fulford got a notice in the mail advertising home improvement services, she believed they were government-funded.
Ms. Fulford called the number on the notice and spoke to a woman associated with William Livorio and his company, Revitalization & Funding Inc.
All Ms. Fulford and her husband were looking for was whole-house insulation.
But by the time they were done, the Fulfords had ordered a new deck to be built on the back of their West Middlesex home, were to have a bathroom repaired, a shower installed and were contemplating siding and shingles.
"I feel awfully stupid," she said. "He was just nice as pie."
That was apparently part of the scheme.
According to the Allegheny County district attorney's office, Mr. Livorio, 69, of Moon, ran the same fraud on 35 other families between 2006 and 2008.
He pleaded guilty to several counts of theft in December.
On Monday, he was sentenced to spend 6 years 8 months in prison and was also ordered to pay $645,000 in restitution. The prison term could be as much as 20 years, 10 months.
The sentence was enhanced, said Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani, because Mr. Livorio had previously been forbidden by another court to conduct business with anyone over the age of 60.
In this case, 20 of the 36 victims were elderly.
For Ms. Fulford, who is 53, the scam run by Mr. Livorio resulted in not only a loss of $24,000, but she believes it ruined her marriage, too.
She and her husband have been separated for three years -- as a direct result, she said, of the stress from the deal with Mr. Livorio.
He duped the Fulfords into applying for a second mortgage -- they only owed $10,000 on it but unknowingly took a loan out against it for $46,000.
According to the criminal complaint, that was part of the scheme. Mr. Livorio gave the impression that his customers were involved in a state-sponsored, low-interest financing program and then would have them sign the proceeds of the resulting checks over to his company.
In very few instances was any work completed.
For Ms. Fulford, the exception was the repair of a single bathroom window.
Though she made repeated calls to Mr. Livorio, they went unreturned.
Eventually, Ms. Fulford went to the state attorney general's office to complain, and the case was referred for prosecution.
"I'm still kind of angry," she said. "I'm happy he went to jail."
It's not his first time landing in prison.
Mr. Livorio served a federal sentence from 1990 to 1991 for bank and tax fraud stemming from loans involving campgrounds in Fayette County and Ohio.
Then, in 2000, the attorney general's office filed suit against Mr. Livorio and his company Amfed Homecare Corp. for running another con against senior citizens. In that case, Amfed took money for nonmedical in-home services -- like food preparation -- but never provided them.
Mr. Livorio was ordered to pay back nearly $400,000 and never do business with seniors again.
Paula Reed Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2620