VENTURA - A joint investigation by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and the Ventura County District Attorney's Bureau of Investigation has led to a seven year prison sentence for a contractor who bilked a senior citizen out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Mark Loren Adams, 64, of Ventura was sentenced July 9, 2015 for elder theft, obtaining money by false pretenses, diversion of construction funds and filing a fraudulent instrument. Adams pleaded guilty to seven felony counts in May and admitted a white collar crime enhancement for taking in excess of $500,000. He was also ordered to pay $1,266,689 in restitution to his victim.
"CSLB's enforcement team has demonstrated its commitment to putting contractors who prey on the elderly, or any other unsuspecting victims, out of business and behind bars," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "They are committed to protecting consumers."
In May 2009, Adams entered into a construction contract with a senior citizen in Ojai who needed his roof repaired. Over the course of the next three months, Adams convinced the elderly gentlemen to enter into 17 additional contracts for a total charge of $775,000. Even after the victim paid the full contract amount, Adams charged him an additional $523,000. An industry expert concluded that the value of the work Adams actually performed under the written contract was approximately $393,000. In addition, Adams hired mostly unlicensed workers and failed to obtain the required permits. When the victim's son demanded an accounting, Adams filed a fraudulent mechanics lien.