Today’s Bottom Line column ….
The best deal Ted Diamond made in California the past year, aside from the bargain-basement bids he gave unsuspecting victims of his fencing-contractor scam, was the plea deal that reduced the charges against him to single felony counts of identity theft and grand theft felony counts and two counts of misdemeanor petty theft.
Diamond, a former Moodus fencing-business owner, is still a convicted felon who’s serving a 270-day sentence in Todd Road Jail in Santa Paula, Calif., after sentencing in early October. Not too bad considering he faced seven felony counts — five for identity theft, two for grand theft — and close to four years in jail after using the bid forms from a local fencing company to solicit down payments with unusually low bids.
That, according to police reports, breaks down to at least seven known victims and thousands of dollars lost. Diamond, who identified himself to victims as an owner of the fencing company, could be out of jail as soon as January.
“It’s a joke,” says Andre Stikkelman, the actual owner of Guardian Fence Co., who briefly employed Diamond before he co-opted the company’s name and bid sheets in his scheme. “We were awarded $20,500 and all the homeowners [were awarded restitution]. He did not fight the restitution. Everyone believes it’s because he will take off and relocate only to do it somewhere else.”