Pool King owner Kenneth Lanni didn't say a word to FOX 26 Investigates after his arrest on felony theft charges. But he couldn't stop talking or bragging back in 2007 while our hidden camera was rolling.
When one of two potential customers asked Lanni about the largest job he had ever done the pool builder replied," Two point four million."
But Lanni failed to tell the potential clients about the 23 area families who had little to show for the thousands of dollars they had paid for backyard pools.
What they heard instead from Lanni, business couldn't be better.
"I don't advertise. I even closed down our shop," Lanni told the two potential clients. "We use to have a huge shop. We don't even have that anymore, we're busy."
Busy ignoring them said some unhappy customers.
"If I was driving my truck and I saw him walking across the street I'd probably run him over," Pool King customer John Fiorello said.
What Lanni did to Fiorello and scores of other customers led prosecutors to believe Lanni had no intention of ever finishing their pools.
"You keep taking money from people and walking jobs that becomes evidence of criminal intent," Assistant D.A. Lori DeAngelo said.
DeAngelo said she knows of 23 families Lanni ripped off, taking thousands of dollars from them and leaving them with big messes in their backyards.
During our 2007 Hidden camera investigation, Lanni told potential clients he was worth millions.
"I go dude I'm a multi-millionaire" Lanni told them.
If Lanni ever had millions of dollars prosecutors said they couldn't find it.
"Through his bank records we were able to trace money coming in, coming out," DeAngelo said. "Part of it he did spend on business, part of it he spent on all kinds of other things."
According to prosecutors Lanni basically had a good time on his customers money and there's no hope of getting any money back for his victims.
Through his attorney Lanni declined to comment.
Lanni recently pled no contest to the felony theft charges.The judge found him guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in prison.