WAREHAM — Matthew Will, 37, of Halifax, now faces six larceny-related cases between Plymouth County district courts representing some 26 open charges, prosecutors said in Wareham District Court on a snowy Monday, March 4. He appeared for an arraignment on the new, similar case alleged in Middleboro, this time for one charge of larceny over $1,200 by false pretense, as well as for three pre-trial conferences on outstanding cases.
Will is the owner of Five Star Discount Roofing, of Halifax, and stands accused of victimizing now, at minimum, 24 area households in at least three communities across the county by beginning construction work and not completing it, or not doing work at all, after accepting deposits.
The newest case, police records say, involves a 77-year-old Middleboro woman, who hired Will to fix her roof in September 2018. Will asked her for $4,000 upfront for supplies for the job, and the woman wrote him a check for that amount. On Feb. 7, 2019, the work had not yet begun and the homeowner went to police. Police then applied for a criminal complaint against Will.
Both Jack Atwood, Will’s Plymouth-based defense attorney, and Will were late for the already delayed 11 a.m. court opening, which started late due to the early-morning snowstorm. Atwood said he was driving from another court. He successfully filed a motion to withdraw as counsel because Will was not adequately assisting in the preparation of his defense, he said. “I don’t represent him on the new charge,” said Atwood, of Will.
Judge Tobey S. Mooney presided over the hearings and arraignment. After allowing Atwood’s motion to withdraw, she appointed Onset-based defense attorney Peter Russell to the cases after the probation department confirmed that Will financially qualified for an appointed attorney. She warned Will that he needed to participate in his defense and that, “you won’t be back here picking and choosing attorneys.”
Arguing against the $1,000 cash bail for his new client’s release, as requested by the commonwealth’s Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Schulman at the arraignment, Russell stated that Will had not been convicted of any charges, up until recently had no criminal complaints other than an “old fish and wildlife charge,” had been a reputable contractor up until his “business went south” and has four children.
Mooney released Will on personal recognizance on the new case, citing the fact that he was already being held on bail in other cases.
The alleged victims now claim they have lost a combined $157,197.34, with individual losses ranging from $695 to $15,569. Most of these victims are over age 55, and many are quite elderly, according to police reports. The alleged victim who lost the most money is 78-years-old.
Will continues to hold construction supervisor licenses, as of press time, according to state records, and continues to be in business. At two points Will attempted to address the judge, once to explain why he wasn’t participating in his defense, which Mooney immediately stopped him from doing, and another time, at the end of the session, he asked the judge, “Can I say one more thing?” and Mooney abruptly cut him off with a curt, “No.”