Javier Castaneda, Marisa McIntosh Aitken, James Corwin Schroeder and Peni Tupulotu have been added to the Nevada State Contractors Board's Ten Most Wanted.
Castaneda has two misdemeanor warrants issued by Las Vegas Justice Court for contracting without a license and two felony warrants for diversion of funds. Castaneda allegedly contracts to do room additions or home remodeling jobs, accepts large sums of money up front and does little or no work. On one home remodeling contract, he was allegedly paid $5,800 for labor and materials and allegedly only did about $1,400 to cover his expenses.
Aiken, doing business as Advanced Glazing and Design and West Coast Sunrooms, has two felony warrants issued by Henderson Justice Court and Las Vegas Justice Court for contracting without a license and diversion of funds. She allegedly takes large deposits up front and does little or no work and then abandons the projects.
Schroeder, doing business as Hilltop Building, has a warrant issued from Reno Justice Court on four counts of diversion of funds. He had his contractor's license revoked on March 8, 2007, after the Board received eight complaints from homeowners. Schroeder allegedly diverted $132,300 in funds received from homeowners.
Peni has a felony warrant issued from Reno Justice Court on two gross misdemeanor counts of diversion of funds. He allegedly diverted funds received from a Reno paver job.
The Special Investigations Unit of the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) is hard at work tracking and citing offenders and informing the public of their rights and responsibilities. To assist in prosecuting illegal contracting, the Nevada State Contractors Board has launched an online "Ten Most Wanted." Individuals listed on the Ten Most Wanted website pages are those who have outstanding arrest warrants for unlicensed contracting activity. Contractors and members of the public can go online at www.nscb.state.nv.us and click "Ten Most Wanted" on the quick-link menu to review suspect's profiles. The website includes contact numbers to provide information about the individuals profiled.
Homeowners who use the services of a revoked or suspended contractor are not eligible for recovery of their damages through the Residential Recovery Fund. The NSCB urges the public to hire only licensed contractors in good standing with the Board.
Consumers can verify contractors' licenses and obtain helpful tips for working with contractors by calling (775) 688-1141 in Northern Nevada, or (702) 486-1100 in Southern Nevada. Licenses can be verified 24 hours a day by logging on to www.nscb.state.nv.us.
The NSCB urges consumers to follow these simple tips when dealing with a contractor:
- Hire only licensed contractors. Ask to see the license.
- Don't rush into decisions or hire without checking out potential contractors.
- Be especially wary when approached by someone offering home improvements door-to door.
- Verify the contractor's licensed by checking online at www.nscb.state.nv.us or via automated phone service at (702) 486-1100 (Southern Nevada), or (775) 688-1141 (Northern Nevada).
- Ensure the contractor is properly licensed for the work you want done on your home.
- Limit the amount of your down payment or deposit to 10 percent of the total contract.
- Don't pay cash without obtaining signed receipts, and don't let the payments get ahead of the work.