TOMS RIVER — A contractor from Little Egg Harbor Township on Monday admitted stealing more than $247,000 from eight homeowners who hired him to perform repairs on their properties following Hurricane Sandy, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said Tuesday.

Peter Rinaldi, 57, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by failing to make lawful disposition of property received before Judge Guy P. Ryan, Billhimer said in a news release.

Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Rinaldi be sentenced to five years in prison, Billhimer said. He also will be ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $247,224.63.

Rinaldi was an owner of Donovan Mark Custom Builders LLC and Michael Anthony Custom Builders LLC, Billhimer said. Between July 2014 and August 2016, he entered into agreements to repair the homes of eight homeowners in Little Egg Harbor, Ship Bottom, Toms River and Point Pleasant.

Those homeowners were left with their projects unfinished, Billhimer said.

Rinaldi previously pleaded guilty to a charge of third-degree theft by failing to make lawful disposition of monies received relative to a homeowner he took money from in Brick Township, Billhimer said. The state will recommend Rinaldi be sentenced to three years in prison and that he be ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $34,475 in that case, Billhimer said.

Sentencing on both matters is scheduled for March 29.

Staff Writer

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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