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Police: Solar contractor charged with defrauding Salem victim

2013-03-12T11:14:00Z 2013-03-12T17:21:34Z Police: Solar contractor charged with defrauding Salem victimDON LEHMAN -- dlehman@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
March 12, 2013 11:14 am  • 

SALEM -- A Rensselaer County man who operates a solar and wind energy business was charged with grand larceny Monday for allegedly defrauding a customer of $32,000, police said.

Allan “Rick” Anderson, 48, of Melrose, who operates Titan Power Systems, was charged with third-degree grand larceny after an investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Anderson is under investigation by police for similar allegations in Saratoga and Rensselaer counties, police said.

He was accused of taking $34,000 in payments from the female victim in December 2011 and performing only about $2,000 worth of basic preparatory work, sheriff’s Investigator Tony LeClaire said.

The woman was going to have a solar heating and energy system installed, but Anderson installed some pipes for the heating system over a year ago but did not return to perform any other work or provide materials such as solar panels that were to be installed, LeClaire said.

Anderson was a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority-certified contractor, but LeClaire said complaints about the quality of his work — particularly wind turbines — changed that.

“NYSERDA has stopped certifying his projects because of the issues he’s been having,” LeClaire said.

NYSERDA spokeswoman Kate Muller released the following statement about the company Tuesday:

“Titan Power Systems LLC is a ‘provisional’ installer in NYSERDA’s Solar Thermal Incentive Program. All contractors enter the program as provisional, which means they agree to submit to quality assurance audits on their first three projects. “NYSERDA does this to be certain that their work is of the high quality required by our program before we accept additional projects. NYSERDA approved one project from Titan Power and is working with the company to remedy quality assurance issues; we have not accepted any additional project applications from the company. Titan Power is not, and never has been, a participating contractor in NYSERDA’s wind or solar photovoltaics (solar electricity) programs.”

The state Attorney General’s Office is investigating complaints he defrauded a customer in Ballston Spa of $20,000 and one in Rensselaer County of $4,000 to $5,000, LeClaire said.

A message left on a cell phone number for Anderson was not returned Tuesday morning.

Anderson was arraigned and sent to Washington County Jail for lack of bail but had posted bail as of Tuesday morning.

LeClaire said anyone with information in the case was asked to call 747-4623.

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