Reporting Joe Shortsleeve
BOSTON (CBS) – Delays, setbacks and added expenses are just part of the process when it comes to building a new home. But a group of local homeowners say their problems went way beyond that; they call it fraud.
They all hired a Cape Cod based company, RDA, Realty Development Associates to build them a modular home. They say company owner, Don Shulman, demanded large amounts of money up front and left them with homes that lacked basic necessities like heat and water.
“It has been devastating,” said Marilyn Glasser who hired Shulman to build a home in Provincetown. She had to pay an additional $100,000 to finish the project after she says Shulman abandoned her home with no air conditioning, no water and no septic system. “It has changed our future,” she said. “We’ve had to delay our retirement.”
“It was very calculated. [He] preyed on people,” said Beth Fritche who hired Shulman to add large modular addition and build a garage on her Hopkinton home. They too had to hire a builder to finish the work they had already paid Shulman for to the tune of $180,000. “We’ve paid for everything twice,” she said.
The I-Team met with a total of seven families, all with the same story. Together the homeowners estimate they are out well over a million dollars.
We had a lot of questions for Don Shulman and he agreed to sit down and talk with us, but he canceled at the last minute. We tracked him down near his office in Sandwich but refused to answer our questions.
Shulman did send us a letter explaining that his company suffered financial stresses from the recession. He also said quote: “We are working on a plan that allows us to reimburse individuals in justified cases.”
None of the families we talked to know anything about any effort to reimburse their expenses.
Marilyn Glasser says she wants Shulman held accountable. “I’d like to see him in jail,” she said. “He’s robbed us.”
The Attorney General is currently reviewing complaints filed by the families.
The I-Team has learned the New York modular company that built the components for all of the homes has now severed ties with Don Shulman.