Transient Contractor's Road Back to California NOT Paved with Good Intentions
Contractors State License Board arrests paving scammer and cousins on myriad of charges
SACRAMENTO — Contractors State License Board (CSLB) investigators caught up with one of the more notorious unlicensed transient paving contractors shortly after he started working again in California. George Stanley, 29, of Moosup, Connecticut, who already has felony cases pending in Tulare and Yuba Counties from 2008, was arrested today in Chico for resuming his paving scam, this year in different northern California counties.
This morning, investigators with CSLB's State Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT), along with officers from the California Highway Patrol, Butte County District Attorney's Office and Chico Police Department, arrested Stanley and two of his cousins, Kevin Snow, 21, and George Snow, 19, both of Salisbury, Massachusetts. The three are expected to face a series of charges including elder abuse, conspiracy to commit a felony, theft by use of false pretense, felony use of a contractor's license, contracting without a license, and illegal advertising. The Snows are being held on $15,000 bail each. Stanley is being held on $40,000 bail, with the additional amount because a felony is alleged while he was free on bail from a previous Tulare County felony case.
CSLB investigators began tracking Stanley this week after receiving tips that he was at work in Butte and Glenn Counties. This morning the trio was arrested without incident outside the Chico motel where they were staying. It is believed that the group has been working in the Chico, Paradise, and Orland areas for at least the past six weeks under the company name "Porrero McLaughlin." A number of possible victims have already been identified, but CSLB investigators believe there are more. These consumers are encouraged to contact CSLB at (916) 255-2924.
Stanley is no stranger to CSLB or the inside of a jail cell. His first arrest last year was on April 16, 2008, in Yuba County. Stanley faces two felony counts of fraud, two counts of felony theft and one misdemeanor count each of contracting without a license and illegal advertising. His preliminary hearing in that case is set for July 29, 2009.
Stanley was arrested again on May 14, 2008. That arrest, at CSLB headquarters in Sacramento, was on a $100,000 felony warrant from Tulare County for conspiracy, grand theft, contracting without a license, and failure to have workers' compensation insurance for his employees. He was released after posting $100,000 bail. A judge has allowed Stanley until September 10, 2009, to pay $23,000 in restitution to victims and plead guilty to the above charges. If restitution is not made, Stanley faces a preliminary hearing on September 11, 2009.
CSLB also received a tip that Stanley's cousin, George Snow, was asking Stanley's victims from last year's incidents in Marysville to accept payments of up to $10,000 to drop charges against him. Snow is suspected of operating a paving scam, as well, and has an open complaint against him from Monterey County that CSLB is investigating.
There is also a pending civil case in Tulare County against Stanley, commanding him to stop doing business in California and cease unlawful business practices in the state. In addition, the civil case seeks a permanent injunction to stop Stanley from working in the construction and paving business without a proper CSLB license and appropriate workers' compensation insurance.
"Stanley's brazen return to California indicates that he has no regard for our laws and doesn't care who his next victim will be," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "Consumers need to be on guard so they're not scammed by these smooth-talking con artists."
CSLB investigators today also impounded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, including two dump trucks, trailers, a roller, a paver and two vehicles.
Stanley and his transient crew are believed to have continued operating in several western states. Their operation uses professional-looking bright orange equipment as part of their roving paving scam operation. Stanley offers to use left-over materials to fix pot holes or to pave driveways and parking lots at what is initially billed as a "bargain rate." Before the work is completed, Stanley or his crew say they need more money to finish the job, then cash the check and leave town before the paved work begins to crumble and the victims realize they have been scammed.
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 2007-08, the CSLB helped consumers recover $35.2 million in ordered restitution.
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