“State investigators work to protect consumers from financial harm by investigating unscrupulous workers who tend to prey on unsuspecting, vulnerable homeowners interested in upgrading or making improvements to their houses. These investigators work with local district attorneys’ offices to see cases through to prosecution and hopefully to make things right with the victims through restitution.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
LOS ANGELES – According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, three people are charged in a 29-count complaint for enticing consumers to receive energy-efficient improvements to their homes but the work was never completed.
Pedro De Jesus Diaz, 41, Esfahani Salahi, 28, and Mahsa Karimaghaei, 31, have all pleaded not guilty. Among the charges are grand theft, first-degree residential burglary, unauthorized use of personal identifying information, false personation and diverting construction funds. A preliminary hearing setting is scheduled for January 19, 2023.
Diaz ran Bright Energy Inc., a company that offered to install energy-efficient products such as solar panels, roofing and heating or air conditioning units. Salahi and Karimaghaei were company employees who solicited possible customers.
The company was enrolled in the state’s Property Assessed Clean Energy loan program. Between 2018 and 2019, the defendants are accused of making false and misleading statements to nine consumers to do construction on their homes.
The defendants allegedly used the homeowners’ personal information to apply for loans without permission.
In most of the projects, the work was never finished and the company is accused of keeping roughly $843,000 in loan money.
The case remains under investigation by the California Contractors State License Board.