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Developer R. Bruce Fazio was charged Wednesday with fraud, deception, and risking a catastrophe for building a Norristown condominium project deemed so unsafe that a judge ordered its residents to evacuate.
Fazio, 46, of Collegeville, surrendered to Montgomery County detectives early Wednesday, according to District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. He appeared briefly before a district judge and was freed on $50,000 bail.
The charges — more than three dozen counts — followed a criminal investigation into how Fazio built and won occupancy permits for such a flawed building as the Rittenhouse Club, which opened on Sandy Street in 2007.
“He cut every possible construction corner to save money and keep it for himself, at the same time risking the lives of all of the occupants and other persons,” Ferman said.
When inspectors toured the site this year, they found hollow walls, wooden fire escapes, exposed wiring, and other hazardous conditions.
In May, a county judge condemned the building, ordering the 15 renters and eight owners — some who had paid more than $200,000 — to immediately leave.
Fazio, who has racked up millions of dollars in debts and judgments, said he could not afford the repairs. A judge ordered the municipality to pay for the remediation.
- Montgomery County builder Fazio of unsafe Rittenhouse Club condo charged (philly.com)
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- Norristown ordered to make repairs at unsafe condo building (philly.com)