Local Contractor Arrested for Obtaining Money By False Pretenses
SACRAMENTO — A Contractors State License Board (CSLB) investigation has led to the arrest of a local contractor who is charged with obtaining money by false pretenses. Sacramento City Police arrested Ronald Duwayne Petersen, doing business as Petersen's Weathershield Roofing. Petersen was arrested outside of Federal Bankruptcy Court today and will face charges in Sacramento Superior Court.
"The CSLB is gratified that this unscrupulous operator will be disciplined. His tactics are the kind that consumers need to be alert and wary about. I urge all consumers to check with the CSLB before hiring a contractor," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands.
The CSLB received a total of ten complaints against Petersen resulting in financial loss of nearly $55,000. In some cases, Petersen refused to pay his material suppliers, resulting in mechanic's liens being filed on the homeowner's property. To resolve the liens, some homeowners were forced to pay these mechanic's liens after already paying Petersen for his work. Legitimate contractors should have the capital and the credit to pay employees and purchase materials as needed. Petersen took excessive down payments, sometimes as large as $22,000 and performed no work. By law, a down payment cannot be more than 10 percent of the contract price or $1,000, whichever is less. Written contracts must include a payment schedule that sets forth payments as work is completed.
"By checking contractors before hiring them, consumers can find out if the contractors are licensed, verify business names and addresses, and determine if there are any legal actions against licenses. Tips on how to hire a contractor and manage the construction process are also available from the CSLB," added Sands.
The CSLB urges consumers to follow these tips when hiring any contractor:
- Hire only licensed contractors
- Get a written contract
- Do not pay more than 10 percent down or $1,000, whichever is less
- Do not let payments get ahead of the work
- Verify the contractor's license with the CSLB at www.cslb.ca.gov
- Verify the license owner, business name and address
- Get three bids and check references
- Do not pay cash.
The Contractors State License Board, which operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, licenses 278,000 contractors in California and investigates 25,000 complaints against licensed and unlicensed contractors annually.
Sign Up For News Release Email Alerts
Please type in your email below and click submit.