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Landscaper scam, forgery lands Port man in prison PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 19:00

Judge revokes his probation, sentences him to two years behind bars


    A Port Washington man whose troubles with the law began in 2015 when he passed himself off as an employee of a landscaping firm he didn’t work for and accepted money for work he never did was sentenced to prison last month for that crime and forging checks earlier this year.
    Andrew J. Gronowski, 39, was sentenced on June 20 by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy to two years in prison and two years of extended supervision after pleading guilty to forging a check in January or February.
    At the time of the forgery, Gronowski was on probation for the landscaping scam. His probation was revoked on June 20 and he was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of extended supervision, although the two sentences are to be served concurrently.
    According to the criminal complaint in the forgery case, on Feb. 8, a man told a Port Washington police officer that he had power of attorney to manage the finances of his brother, who had been in the county jail since Jan. 8.
    The man said he noticed that nine of his brother’s checks had been paid to the order of Gronowski for cash since his brother had been incarcerated. The checks totalled $4,250.
    The man said his brother’s girlfriend, Deborah Paulin, had permission to use his brother’s debit card for some purchases but not his checkbook. He said that since his brother was incarcerated, Gronowski had been providing “moral support” to Paulin, according to the complaint.
    When officers interviewed Paulin, she denied writing any of the checks and said she believed Gronowski stole the checkbook.
    But when officers went back to Paulin’s home a few days later, they found Gronowski hiding in a closet. Gronowski admitted to cashing the checks and said he had written all but one of them. That one, he said, was written by Paulin to him for $200.
    Paulin, who eventually admitted writing one of the checks, pleaded no contest in April to one felony count of forgery and obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.
    Malloy sentenced Paulin to one year in jail, but stayed that sentence and placed her on probation for three years. As a condition of probation, Paulin was ordered to serve 60 days in jail.    
    Gronowski’s earlier crime dated to September 2015 when, after noticing trees that needed to be cut down in a yard on Harrison Street in Port Washington, he approached the homeowner, told him he was from a local landscaping company and took a $200 deposit for work to be done later. Gronowski told the man he would put a contract in his mailbox the next day.
    When the contract wasn’t delivered, the man called the landscaping company. A representative of the company told him that Gronowski did not work for the firm and had been swindling people by claiming that he was employed by the landscaper.
    In February 2016, Gronowski pleaded guilty to one felony count of identity theft. Malloy initially withheld a prison sentence, placed him on probation for three years and ordered him to serve six months in the county jail. Gronowski was then sentenced to prison last month after violating the terms of his probation.Daily Press