ALBANY — A Saratoga Springs man has been sentenced to up to seven years in prison after admitting earlier to defrauding multiple victims in a $1 million scheme run through two construction companies he owned, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday.
Shawn M. VanVeghten, 39, pleaded guilty earlier to one count each of second-degree money laundering and first-degree scheme to defraud, felonies.
He was sentenced Wednesday in Saratoga County Court to a total term of 2.3 to 7 years in state prison.
VanVeghten admitted earlier that from at least July 2016 to May 2020 he schemed to defraud homebuyers and others and laundered money embezzled from his victims.
He was arrested in September 2020 on a series of felony and misdemeanor charges.
The joint state police-attorney general investigation showed VanVeghten laundered the money in a scheme aimed at promoting his businesses at the expense of homebuyers, business owners, a financial lender and the beneficiary of a special needs trust.
“New Yorkers spend their lives saving for their dream home, so those who steal only to leave our state’s residents struggling to keep a roof over their heads will see the full force of our office come down on them,” Attorney General Letitia James in a statement. “Shawn VanVeghten defrauded more than $1 million from New Yorkers just to finance his own expenses. Now Mr. VanVeghten will spend the next several years with a jail cell as the only roof over his head.”
VanVeghten was accused of laundering over $1 million through the two construction companies he owned or operated, VanVeghten Construction and Union Modular Homes, both based in Wilton, officials said.
VanVeighten received the money from homebuyers that were intending to build their dream homes, as well as from a lender. But he instead diverted the money for personal use, as well as to pay off business expenses, officials said.
He got subcontractors and suppliers to perform labor and supply materials, but failed to pay them. He also misappropriated $200,000 from a special needs trust established to benefit a disabled family member, officials said.
In all, he diverted more than $400,000 for his own personal use, including to purchase and renovate investment property in Schenectady County, pay for office space in Wilton, pay down his personal mortgage and cover various other personal expenses, officials said.