Unlicensed Contractor and Convicted Felon Caught by Contractors State License Board and Sacramento Police Department
Victimized elderly couple, bilked of more than $250,000 in life savings, needs help
SACRAMENTO — An arrest warrant in excess of $1,000,000 was served on an unlicensed contractor who is believed to have bilked an elderly Sacramento couple of their live savings. Investigators from the Contractors State License Board and Sacramento Police Department Detective Bureau caught Keith Lidell McGowan last night in Antelope on warrants of $100,003,000 for embezzlement (felony elder abuse), fraudulent use of another person's contractor license, contracting without a license, and prior offenses. McGowan, 51, is listed as a San Jose resident, but had been living and working in the Sacramento region, and may have victimized several other property owners.
McGowan is said to have knocked on Oliver and Patsy Davis's home in 2006, representing himself as a licensed contractor, and asking the couple if they needed remodeling work on their property. What began as a verbal agreement of $40,000 ended up costing the Davises nearly $253,000 in a little over one year before McGowan abandoned their project in October 2007. A CSLB industry expert valued the work performed at $72,000, which means McGowan received funds in excess of $180,000 for work he did not perform. The couple's savings and home equity have been drained and there is an estimated $172,000 in repairs that still need to be completed.
McGowan, whose contractor license was revoked in 1996, was using the business name of LC Owens Construction and another contractor's license number. He is a "two-strike" past convicted felon who served time in San Quentin prison for multiple charges, including manslaughter. If convicted of the current charges, the California "Three Strikes" penalty would apply and McGowan would be incarcerated for life.
Investigators are asking that any other property owners who may have used McGowan or LC Owens Construction services contact authorities if they believe they may have been victimized by McGowan. Contact the CSLB Investigative Center at 916-255-4062. The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The CSLB licenses and regulates California's 315,000 contractors, and investigates more than 20,000 complaints against contractors annually. In Fiscal Year 2006-2007, the CSLB obtained nearly $44.8 million in ordered restitution for consumers.
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