investigations

Danielson Contractor Faces Criminal Charges During State Investigation

This summer, the Department of Consumer Protection requested complaints from consumers who may have done business with Justin Lanno and his business CT Heat Pros.

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A Danielson contractor and an HVAC worker from New Haven are accused of forging paperwork to take $12,370 for heating work that was never completed.

A Danielson home contractor under investigation by the state now faces criminal charges.

This summer, the Department of Consumer Protection requested complaints from consumers who may have done business with Justin Lanno and his business CT Heat Pros.

“We have been concerned about this business for a while,” said DCP Communications Director Kaitlyn Krasselt, who says they’ve received 56 complaints from consumers so far.

The Department of Consumer Protection is investigating more than two dozen complaints against CT Heat Pros for improper or incomplete HVAC work.

Now the department is accusing Lanno and Enrique Herazo, a licensed HVAC worker from New Haven, of forging paperwork to take $12,370 for heating work that was never completed.

In court documents NBC CT Investigates obtained Tuesday, a DCP inspector says a Danielson homeowner reported the unfinished work in April of 2020 and that the local building official cited more than just code violations, but “many issues that reflected extremely poor quality workmanship…”

According to the court documents, “Access Community Action Agency” in Danielson, a nonprofit that works with low-income residents in eastern Connecticut, helped this homeowner finance her furnace replacement. But the inspector says the signature the agency received on the work completion form did not match with that of the homeowner.

Now, both Lanno and Herazo are accused of conspiracy to commit forgery and larceny.

NBC CT Investigates reached out to Lanno and his lawyer for comment, but haven’t heard back.

We spoke to Herazo over the phone today, but he had no comment.

When the DCP put a call out for complaints about the company, NBC CT Investigates heard from consumers about what they say was shoddy and potentially dangerous heating and cooling work done in their homes.

Erika Kelly of Putnam says she still doesn’t have a working AC and heating unit after CT Heat Pros moved its location in September of 2020.

We spoke to her over the phone Tuesday about the allegations against her former contractor.

“I was shocked. A little sad it’s not my case, but I was shocked.”

Kelly says there's been no resolution with her broken system.

Lanno’s lawyer had previously told NBC CT that they were working on resolutions, but didn’t get back to us when we asked specifically about Kelly’s case.

Kelly says she hopes these accusations will bring justice to more of those impacted like her family

“I’m glad that something is finally happening, I’m glad that Justin is finally seeing that people are taking this very seriously.”

DCP says their investigators continue to sort through complaints, review the accused's' licenses, and potentially get some restitution for the alleged victims.

“Our goal is to really help out the consumers that were harmed by the inappropriate work that was done,” said Krasselt.

She says if you are getting any work done on your home do your research, check reviews and make sure the worker has the appropriate licenses for the work, which you can check at this website.

"Home improvement contractors in particular are very limited in the scope of the work that they can complete," Krasselt added.