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Man gets 3 years in paving scam, assault.

Byline: Gary V. Murray

WORCESTER - A 44-year-old city man who accepted deposits for paving and asphalt jobs but never performed the work was sentenced to state prison yesterday after pleading guilty to larceny and other charges.

William Pusateri, of 2 Ashburnham Road, was sentenced to 3 years to 3 years and a day in state prison, with 5 years of probation to follow, after entering guilty pleas in Worcester Superior Court to eight counts of larceny of more than $250, 11 counts of larceny of less than $250 and single counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot), intimidation of a witness and uttering a false document.

As one of the conditions of his probation, Mr. Pusateri was ordered to pay $29,400 in restitution.

Assistant District Attorney John A. O'Leary told Judge James R. Lemire during the plea hearing that one of Mr. Pusateri's victims, a 52-year-old city man who had paid a $300 deposit to have his driveway resealed, was punched and kicked by Mr. Pusateri Nov. 3 after the man demanded his money back.

The prosecutor said Mr. Pusateri told the victim he was a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang and was not someone to be trifled with.

On 17 other occasions in 2010, Mr. Pusateri entered into contracts to do paving or asphalt work, and accepted deposits from the customers, but failed to perform the work or return the money, according to Mr. O'Leary.

The prosecutor said Mr. Pusateri used paperwork from A&M Asphalt, a company he once worked for, when entering into agreements with some of the victims. Andrew Minasian, the owner of the company, later honored those contracts, even though Mr. Pusateri no longer worked for him and the company did not receive the deposits given to Mr. Pusateri, Mr. O'Leary said.

The uttering charge and one of the larceny indictments against Mr. Pusateri involved a stolen $800 check that he cashed at a Penny Wise Market in Worcester on Oct. 8, 2010.

Judge Lemire adjudicated Mr. Pusateri a "common and notorious thief," a finding that increased the maximum sentence he was facing on the larceny charges from 5 to 20 years.

The sentence imposed by Judge Lemire was recommended by Mr. O'Leary and Mr. Pusateri's lawyer, Walter A. Rojcewicz Jr.

Mr. Rojcewicz answered affirmatively when asked by the judge whether a substance abuse problem was the underlying cause of Mr. Pusateri's criminal conduct.

Judge Lemire said he hoped Mr. Pusateri would spend time in prison reflecting on the suffering of his victims, some of whom were elderly and had limited incomes.

Other conditions of probation imposed by Judge Lemire require Mr. Pusateri to remain drug- and alcohol-free, to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and any related treatment deemed appropriate by the court and to have no contact with his victims.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 14, 2011
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