Contractor Who Took Advantage of Consumers and Insurance Company Gets Licenses Revoked
San Diego Contractor also faces prison time, fines and $456,000 in restitution
SACRAMENTO — A San Diego contractor who lied to his insurance company to get lower workers' compensation insurance premiums has had both of his licenses revoked by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB).
Yesterday, David Haskit pled guilty to two felonies and an allegation that he the crimes he committed involved taking over $150,000. Haskit also agreed to the revocation of his contractors licenses, effective this morning, June 8th at 6 o'clock.
Haskit pled guilty to making untrue statements in his report to the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF). Those statements, under-reporting the total number of people on his payroll, greatly reduced his monthly 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.
"It was a real team effort to go after Haskit and get him out of the construction industry and put him behind bars," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "It's unthinkable that someone would take advantage of consumers in this callous way." 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 marvelous job of building this case," said CSLB's Enforcement Chief David Fogt. "Insurance fraud may not be a sexy charge, but it's serious and carries serious consequences. Mr. Haskit will pay for what he's done to consumers."
Haskit faces eight years in state prison when he has his sentencing hearing on August 17. The sentence was delayed to give Haskit time to get a second mortgage on his house to pay a portion of the $456,000 in restitution to SCIF up front, with the balance due over time. He could also be fined anywhere from $200 to $10,000.
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 2004-05, the CSLB helped consumers get more than $36 million in restitution.
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