SARATOGA SPRINGS – A construction company owner was sentenced to prison Wednesday and paid $100,000 in partial restitution to homebuyers, business owners and lenders he defrauded out of more than $1 million.

Shawn M. VanVeghten was sentenced to a prison term of 2 1/3 to seven years. He also signed judgments to his victims for a total of $1 million, of which he paid 10 percent immediately.

VanVeghten was arrested in September 2020 and pleaded guilty in December to money laundering and scheme to defraud, both felonies. He faced three to nine years in prison.

VanVeghten, 39, of Saratoga Springs, promised to build dream homes. But after collecting his customers’ money, he spent it on himself or on other construction jobs for which he’d previously spent the money, Attorney General Letitia James James’ office.

“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,” James said in a statement released by her office. “Now Mr. VanVeghten will spend the next several years with a jail cell as the only roof over his head.”

 State Police audited VanVeghten’s bank accounts and described hundreds of transactions in which he used new funds “in a Ponzi-like scheme” to replace funds he’d previously embezzled.

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