Jennie Fusco acknowledges that she and her family members have made some mistakes over the years with their upholstery business.
Some of those mistakes have led to multiple felony arrests and convictions for Fusco and her estranged husband, as well as state prison sentences for both during an 18-year history.
But Fusco says the latest arrest she incurred, which also included charges against her son and husband, is the result of a customer who doesn’t want to pay his bill.
She and her son, Joseph F. Fusco, 25, and husband, Joseph M. Fusco, 54, have been charged with felony grand larceny and misdemeanor criminal mischief. But she said the charges are unwarranted, and she had nothing to do with the job, other than allowing some of the work to take place at a shop on her family property in Fort Ann.
QUEENSBURY — The Fort Ann couple who went to prison several years ago for ripping off customers of their upholstery business are in trouble wi…
“The truth is, they finished the work on that boat and delivered it to him,” she said.
She said the customer who complained is a lawyer who dropped his boat off last April, and it was returned to him complete in November. She said he owes $3,500 for the work.
The Fuscos have run The Crooked Stitcher in locations in Washington, Warren and Columbia counties for over a decade, most recently in Fort Ann. It has been a stormy tenure that has included dozens of complaints that they took money from customers but did not do the boat, vehicle and furniture re-upholstery for which they were hired.
Those customers whose work was finished say the Fuscos are good at what they do. But many others say they accept down payments for jobs they don’t complete, leaving boats or cars virtually useless without seats that have been removed for new coverings.
Mrs. Fusco said the family has had some “bad luck” that has affected their ability to finish some jobs.
Since 2001, the elder Joseph Fusco and his wife have been charged with felonies at least three times in Warren and Washington counties and once in Columbia County, according to court documents and prior media reports.
They were acquitted of charges in Glens Falls following a 2001 arrest, but pleaded guilty to felony charges in 2008 in Washington County and were sentenced to probation. While on probation, they were arrested again in 2010 in Washington County and both pleaded guilty to felony charges a second time and were sentenced to state prison.
She said she went to state prison because she was unable to pay $5,000 of a $26,000 restitution tab in the 2010 case. Her husband has at least two prior felony convictions for upholstery business-related crimes.
This time, though, Mrs. Fusco believes the police erred in filing charges. She said her husband has been working in Florida, and she is trying to keep the business afloat locally.
“I’ve been losing so much business because of this,” she said.