A Hudson Valley homebuilder admitted he defrauded a number of local residents out of $175,000.

On Tuesday in Orange County Court, 63-year-old Charles Neustadt of Goshen and his corporation, JC Builders, Inc., pleaded guilty to felonies for defrauding property owners who hired him to construct homes on property they owned.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, placed on the record, Neustadt must pay a total of $175,000 to six property owners who gave him money to build homes on property that they owned. The victims didn't have their homes completed and didn't receive money back.

“The construction, buying, or improvement of a residence is generally the most expensive purchase most people will ever make, and they must be protected from fraud,” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said. “It is of primary importance that victims whose lives have been disrupted receive full restitution."

Under the terms of the agreement, if Neustadt pays all the money to the defrauded landowners by January 3, 2019, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will recommend he be sentenced to 3 years probation. If he fails to pay back his victims, prosecutors will recommend a 2 to 7 year prison sentence.

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