Durability + Design
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

D+D News

Main News Page


Contractor Admits to Bilking Elderly

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

More items for Maintenance + Renovation

Comment | More

A Washington state contractor has pleaded guilty to one count of unregistered contracting after taking more than $37,000 from an 87-year-old woman in one month.

Stephen B. Nelson, 50, of Woodinville, WA, pleaded guilty last week in King County District Court to one count of unregistered contracting, according to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industry (L&I). The count is considered a gross misdemeanor.

Officials say Bonnie Jardine, 87, did not realize she was working with a contractor whose license had been suspended previously when she hired him 10 times in the same month. But before the woman’s son found out, she already had paid Nelson—who was doing business as American Landscaping—more than $37,000.

Judge Ketu Shah ordered Nelson to repay Jardine $31,000; undergo a drug and mental health evaluation; follow his treatment plans; and repay court costs, either directly or by community service work. If Nelson fails to follow the terms or commits additional crimes within the next two years, he will face a $5,000 fine and nearly a year in jail, L&I said.

©iStock.com / Wavebreakmedia

Stephen B. Nelson admitted that he took more than $37,000 from an 87-year-old woman for projects she did not solicit after his contractor license had been suspended.

“This case shows why it’s so important to make sure you hire a registered contractor,” said Elizabeth Smith, assistant director of L&I’s Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards. “Unregistered contractors often target senior citizens to scam, but it could happen to anyone.”

Ten Times, One Month

According to the charging documents, Jardine first hired Nelson on Feb. 1, 2013, to remove a tree and repair a chimney. Nelson then came back eight more times between Feb. 4 and Feb. 27 to do miscellaneous work on Jardine’s residence and a rental property she owns.

Jardine’s son, Daniel Jardine, then learned about the payments his mother was giving to Nelson, the charging documents indicate. Soon after, Daniel Jardine learned that Nelson was not a registered contractor and that his wife had been cashing the checks his mother wrote.

Jardine’s son told L&I his mother hadn’t sought the repairs, but that the contractor gained her sympathy by telling her he had health problems, according to the L&I investigation.

Previous Problems

The recent problems with L&I are not Nelson’s first, according to agency records. Nelson had been a registered contractor from 2009 until August 2012 when his license was suspended for unknown reasons. However, by the time his license had expired, L&I had cited and fined him more than $35,000 for safety violations discovered after one of his workers was killed by high-voltage power lines while cutting down a tree.

Nelson appealed those violations but also racked up more than $329,000 in unpaid workers’ compensation premiums, penalties and interest. He made a deal with L&I to forgo the original $35,800 under the condition that he would never perform arbor work again.

The agency also said Nelson and his business have two civil infractions for unregistered contracting in 2011 and 2013.

   

Tagged categories: Contractors; Contractors State License Board; Ethics; Government; Health and safety; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; OSHA; OSHA

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Novatek Corporation
 
Novatek Portable Air Filtration Systems
 
Air Scrubbers/Negative Air machines for restoration, abatement, dust & odor control, hazardous contaminant removal from job sites to clean rooms and hospitals. Portable, affordable!
 

 
Keim Mineral Coatings
 
Mineral Silicate Paints + Stains Fuse to Concrete
 
• Forms permanent chemical bonds
• Becomes part of the concrete
• Will never peel
• Looks completely natural
 

 
Shield Industries, Inc
 
FireGuard® E-84 Intumescent Coating - Shield Industries, Inc
 
Trust the certified protection of the industry’s most innovative intumescent coating FireGuard® E-84 to provide you with the 1 and 2 hour fire ratings you need.
 

 
Atlas Material Testing Technology
 
Helping You Put Your Products To The Test
 
  • Outdoor Accelerated Weathering
  • Laboratory Testing Services
  • Accelerated Weathering Instruments

  • www.atlas-mts.com
    atlas.info@ametek.com
 

 
EMME Controls
 
EMME (Energy Management Made Easy)
 
• Achieve a zone in every room for 1/2 the cost
• Save up to 40% in energy consumption
• Works in any size building
• Can be installed in as little as a few days without remodeling
• Comfort results guaranteed in writing
 

 
Garland Company
 
Architectural Wall Coating Damproofs and Beautifies
 
Tuff-Coat™ multi-functional coating bridges hairline cracks, hides stains and discoloration, and reduces wall temperature, increasing the wall's life cycle.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@durabilityanddesign.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 

© Copyright 2012-2018, Technology Publishing Co., All rights reserved