LOS ANGELES - Kudos to the the Structural Pest Control Board Specialist (SPCB) at California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) for his role in sending an unlicensed pest exterminator and an unlicensed air-quality contractor to prison after the two workers scammed elderly residents in the Los Angeles area out of more than $350,000.
"We routinely talk to senior citizens at consumer protection seminars about watching out for unscrupulous people like these two workers," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). "The investigators and enforcement representatives at DCA investigate complaints and will work with local law enforcement agencies to bring these scammers to justice. Our senior citizens should never be duped into something and should never hesitate to call authorities when they suspect something is wrong."
In this case, a SPCB specialist initiated an investigation based on a consumer complaint and worked closely with the L.A. District Attorney.
Pest exterminator Eldad Syton, 33, and air-quality contractor Yair Zilberman, 31, were sentenced February 24, 2015, to two years in state prison for charging elderly clients fees for work that was never done, according to a press release issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Syton and Yair Zilberman pleaded no contest in October 2014 to one count each of residential burglary and three counts of theft from an elder.
Deputy District Attorney Michelle Dodd of the Elder Abuse Section said Syton had pest exterminator contracts with elderly clients that had a set fee but he later claimed there were additional problems with the victims’ homes. Syton would then enter into a new contract for large amounts of money for work never performed. Zilberman, an unlicensed air-quality contractor, convinced seniors of other problems in their homes, charging them thousands of dollars for work that was never done.
In addition to DCA, this case was investigated by multiple agencies including the Los Angeles Police Department, the Burbank Police Department, the Whittier Police Department and the Santa Monica Police Department.
A restitution hearing is scheduled for March 18.