ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Former Capital Region contractor Dwight Fiero, 44, got slapped with a maximum of 7 more years in prison for crimes he committed while he awaited sentencing for a grand larceny conviction. Fiero was sentenced in March 2021 after avoiding prison time for over a year.
He accepted a one-and-a-half to three-year prison term after admitting to adding an extra zero to a client’s check. His March 2020 sentencing date was delayed at first by the pandemic, and then by Fiero switching attorneys.
In the meantime, he continued to take on jobs from homeowners like Megan Mason of Berne, who had no knowledge of his crime or history at the time. Mason delivered a victim impact statement to the court Wednesday before sentencing.
Mason said she hired Fiero of “War Cry Contracting” in September of 2020 to enclose her front porch, which was never completed. She had to take out a five-year loan to pay Fiero, and said the emotional and financial stress of his actions will be felt “for years to come.”
“I fully trusted Mr. Fiero when I hired him. He told me he was a military veteran and that he served in Iraq,” said Mason.
New York Attorney General Letitia James and State Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen announced the arrest, indictment, and arraignment of Fiero, on the new charges in June of 2021, of bilking homeowners out of over $50,000 and falsely claiming to be a combat veteran.
In October 2021, Fiero pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the third degree and scheme to defraud in the first degree.
Judge Andra Ackerman imposed a minimum of two, maximum of four years on the defraud charge and a minimum of three-and-a-half, maximum of seven on grand larceny. Those will run concurrently. The sentence from March 2021 will run consecutively with the sentence handed down Wednesday in Albany County Court.
As part of Fiero’s conviction, he also executed more than $54,000 in confessions of judgment in favor of his victims.
Ackerman said Fiero’s long history of fraud, lack of accepting full responsibility, and violation of his plea agreement were contributing factors in sentencing. Fiero briefly spoke in court, apologizing to Mason and all others he did not complete projects for.
“Fraud of any kind is never acceptable, but it is all the more abhorrent when it comes at the expense of the public’s trust and the integrity of our combat veterans,” said Attorney General Letitia James in a press release following Wednesday’s sentencing. “Dwight Fiero shamelessly cheated New York homeowners and exploited the reputation of the brave people who actually serve our country to line his own pockets. Let today’s sentence serve as a reminder that we will never tolerate fraud in our state and that bad actors will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. My office will continue to use every tool at its disposal to deliver justice to New Yorkers and ensure that no one is cheated out of their money.”
“I commend our members and the Office of the Attorney General for their hard work in ensuring that Dwight Fiero was brought to justice,” said State Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen. “We will not stand for those who lie and cheat homeowners out of their hard-earned money with no regard for the consequences of their actions.”
This conviction is the result of a joint investigation by the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau and the New York State Police (NYSP) Financial Crimes Unit. The investigation began in the fall of 2020 after numerous homeowners filed complaints with the NYSP and the OAG’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.