Can Using Home Owner's Money by Contractor for Business and Personal Expenses Constitute Grand Larceny in New York ?

In People v. Hollowell, 168 AD2d 970, 971, 565 N.Y.S.2d 349 (4th Dept. 1990), the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, held that, because a home improvement contract was made after the effective date, a contractor could be subject to a charge of grand larceny based on allegations that the contractor deposited funds received from the home owner into the contractor's business checking account, used the money for business and personal expenses, had no money left to purchase supplies to perform the work, and never did the work. "Trust claims' were extended to include claims of owners to funds advanced by them to contractors for the construction of home improvements." People v. Hollowell, supra, 168 AD2d at 971. Consequently, where a home improvement contract is entered into after the March 1, 1998 effective date of the amendments, a home owner has a valid trust claim against the moneys advanced by the owner for a home improvement. Id.