Prison Time and Fine Ordered for Contractor Who Took Advantage of San Diego Area Consumers
Financial Restitution to Insurance Company is also ordered.
SACRAMENTO — A San Diego contractor who had both of his licenses revoked by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) now faces 3 years in state prison, must pay restitution of $456,000; and a $600 fine.
David Haskit was sentenced in San Diego County Superior Court on August 17 after pleading guilty to two felonies and charges that he was involved in crimes taking over $150,000. Haskit had pled guilty to making untrue statements in his report to the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF). Those statements under-reported the total number of people on his payroll, to pay lower workers' compensation premiums. He also pled guilty to perjury.
Haskit filed more than two dozen Mechanics Liens and 30 different court actions against consumers between 2000 and 2005. This was done after Haskit "frontloaded" their home improvement contract, getting the consumers to pay a large amount of money before work was done. Haskit also put a 25% cancellation fee in the contract, making it virtually impossible for the consumer to cancel.
He operated under the business names of Handyman Services and Haskit Construction. Haskit also continued to contract and take money from homeowners after he lost his license using another contractor's license number.
"This is a major win for consumers," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "Justice was served to someone who tried to use the legal system to victimize homeowners." The CSLB worked closely with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office and the Attorney General's Office on the investigation and prosecution of this case. "The District Attorney's Office did a great job," said CSLB's Enforcement Chief David Fogt. "They really put together a good case."
Haskit has remained in jail since August 11 when the judge canceled his bail due to a possible high flight risk. He was allegedly trying to get an equity loan while attempting to sell his home valued at $650,000.
The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The CSLB licenses and regulates California's 302,000 contractors, and investigates more than 20,000 complaints against contractors annually. In fiscal year 2005-06, the CSLB helped consumers get more than $36 million in restitution.
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