SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 17, 2013

Alleged scammer a no-show in court

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — A South Shore man accused of conning a local electrician into doing thousands of dollars’ worth of work on local businesses, then not paying him a dime, was a no-show at Salem District Court yesterday.

And Kenneth Silva’s own lawyer acknowledged to a judge that the phone number he has for his client is no longer in service.

Silva, 45, of Sharon, is facing charges of larceny after police say he pulled off an elaborate scheme targeting local contractors.

Silva claimed to own a business called International Sign and Construction, which, he said, had offices in Boston and Philadelphia.

He approached local businesses that needed work on their electrical signs, then had them sign “contracts” and pay him, police allege. Then, he would hire local contractors to go out to the businesses and perform the work, whether it was changing bulbs or making electrical or other repairs, according to police.

Those “subcontractors,” like David Keenan, say they were never paid for their work.

Most of the subcontractors were unable to persuade local police to pursue the case, but Keenan, after doing some research on Silva and speaking to other contractors, went to Beverly, where the Police Department was more receptive.

They eventually brought charges against Silva.

Silva was due in court yesterday for a status hearing in his case.

Lawyer Carmine Lepore asked a judge to schedule another hearing date in the case, which the judge did, but he also issued a warrant for Silva yesterday morning.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.