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CSLB Press Release - 09/30/09

Notorious Paving Scam Suspect May Face State Prison Time

George Stanley's road to justice is paved after "No Contest" plea.


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SACRAMENTO —After a traveling paving scam crime spree lasting more than a year-and-a-half across California and at least three other states, George Stanley may soon be on his way to state prison.

Thanks to the tireless work of CSLB investigators and local prosecutors in at least six California counties, Stanley, 29, from Moosup, Connecticut, pleaded no contest yesterday (September 29, 2009) in Tulare County Superior Court to one felony count of grand theft by false pretenses (Penal Code 532a). Stanley faces between 16 months and three years in state prison, and must pay $23,500 in restitution. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 28, 2010. He remains in the Tulare County Jail at this time. A hearing regarding a Pennsylvania arrest warrant for Stanley will be held tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. in Tulare County Superior Court, Department 12.

"We hope this sends a clear message to criminals who think they can come to California and rip off unsuspecting consumers," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "You will be caught and you will pay."

Criminal cases are still pending against Stanley in Butte, Imperial, San Joaquin, Ventura, and Yuba Counties on charges of elder abuse, grand theft, fraud, using another person's contractor license, and contracting without a license.

CSLB investigators believe Stanley has conned dozens of Californians, including many elderly, of at least a half-million dollars. Stanley's and his extended family's scheme involved approaching home or business owners, stating they had leftover asphalt from another paving job, and that they could resurface their driveway or fill their potholes for a "good deal."

The so-called "deal" generally ended up costing much more than the quoted price and the work often crumbled within days or weeks. Property owners lost anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.

Background

Stanley and his accomplices would set up their operations at a motel, scam people in the surrounding areas, then move on. Stanley was arrested in both April and May 2008 on warrants from Yuba and Tulare Counties. He posted bail, then repeated his scams in Idaho and Washington State.

Stanley returned to California in spring 2009. He was arrested in Butte County in June, along with his cousins Kevin Snow, 22, and George Snow, 19, both of Salisbury, Massachusetts. An estimated $500,000 worth of paving equipment was impounded and is still being held. All three posted bail. While out on bail, Stanley and his cousins are suspected of scamming and drugging an elderly man in East Brandywine Township, Pennsylvania.

When Stanley and the Snow brothers returned for a hearing in Butte County on July 17, 2009, Stanley was arrested on a million-dollar warrant from San Joaquin County. His bail was reduced, and Stanley was released. Stanley then missed at least two scheduled court hearings in Yuba and Butte Counties. A Butte County judge issued a warrant for Stanley's arrest on August 6, 2009.

Stanley returned to Yuba County later in August to deal with his 2008 case and was arrested on the Butte County warrant, as well as a "no-bail" warrant that was issued from Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Stanley's Yuba County case was delayed. An additional arrest warrant was issued in Tulare County, where he missed his scheduled September 11, 2009, court appearance. Stanley was transferred from Yuba to Tulare County Jail last weekend for his court appearance there yesterday. He will remain in Tulare County Jail on the no bail warrant out of Pennsylvania.

The Snows turned themselves in to Pennsylvania authorities last month, and posted $30,000 cash bail. Stanley has requested an identity hearing, claiming he was not in Pennsylvania at the time the crime against the elderly man occurred.

"These scam artists appear to have no regard for the laws of any state," added Sands. "The coordination between numerous state and local investigators from various agencies and county prosecutors here and in Pennsylvania has been impressive."

CONSUMER TIPS

CSLB urges consumers to follow these tips to avoid being scammed:
  • Be especially cautious when "good deals" are offered, especially when they involve "leftover" materials.
  • Ask to see the contractor's pocket license card and photo ID.
  • Verify the contractor's license at www.cslb.ca.gov, www.CheckTheLicenseFirst.com, or call 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).
  • Don't rush into repairs, no matter how badly they're needed.
  • Don't pay more than 10 percent or $1,000, whichever is less, as a down payment.
  • Don't pay in cash, and contact the licensee to verify to whom any check should be made.
  • Get at least three bids, check references, and get a written contract.

In 2009, CSLB, which operates under the umbrella of the Department of Consumer Affairs, marks its 80th anniversary of protecting consumers by regulating California's construction industry. Today CSLB licenses more than 315,000 contractors. In any given year, complaints are filed against only 3% of licensed contractors. In fiscal year 2008-09, CSLB helped consumers recover nearly $36 million in ordered restitution.

Previous press releases involving George Stanley

Contractors State License Board Investigates Traveling Paving Scam
Contractors State License Board Widens Investigation of Statewide Paving Scam
Transient Contractor's Road Back to California NOT Paved with Good Intentions