Then he disappeared.
As West Coast victims searched online for information on Diamond, it found the TBL column and, ultimately, Dinowitz.
"I said, 'Thank God for Gary Dinowitz'," says Winter. "If that wasn't out there we wouldn't have known how deep this goes."
"The world is getting smaller," says Dinowitz.
Diamond's world, meanwhile, was shrinking by the minute. When TBL first talked to Stikkelman, he had been rounding up victims and encouraging each to file a police report. The more victims, says Stikkelman, and the more money lost, the more jail time piled up for Diamond. Then, on Aug. 21, Diamond was arrested at a job site.
"If you rip someone off for $500," says Stikkelman, "you're not going to jail. He's way, way above that. This guy is a scumbag beyond scumbags."
Back in Connecticut, more victims await action against Diamond, including Joe Bartucca of East Haddam, who says he gave Diamond a $4,000 down payment on a $6,800 job last December.
"Ted removed my old fence," says Bartucca, "dug half of the holes, put up lines, then answered my calls once in a while to tell me his wife was in the hospital, the fence he ordered was wrong and he had to send it back . . . . and on and on."
Bartucca says he never saw Diamond, or his money, again.
Still, there are no charges pending against Diamond in Connecticut, says Susan Kinsman, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general's office. That, certainly, could change, particularly if more victims identify themselves.
For now, anyway, Diamond is out of the fencing business.
"I was laughing, well, not laughing because I'm a victim in all this," says Winter. "But I was telling my husband I'd love to see the headline, 'GASTROPOD TAKES DOWN VILLAIN.'"
If you are a victim or have related information, call Linda Oakes of the Consumer Protection unit at the state attorney general's office at 860-808-5400.