FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thurs., March 26, 2020
Breanna Bang, Public Information Liaison
March 2020 Unlicensed Adjudication Highlights
PHOENIX, Ariz., (March 26, 2020) – Arizona Registrar of Contractors (AZ ROC) closed six unlicensed investigations after they were successfully adjudicated in Lake Havasu City, Sierra Vista, Phoenix, Kingman, and Scottsdale courts.
Lake Havasu City
On March 18, 2020, Christopher Bustamante, 33 of Phoenix, was found guilty of Contracting Without a License, a Class 1 Misdemeanor, in the Lake Havasu City Court.
The charge stemmed from an AZ ROC investigation that found Bustamante, DBA Sonny Pools LLC, contracted to build an inground swimming pool at a Lake Havasu City home. The property owner hired him based on a referral and believed him to be a licensed contractor.
The project was started but after paying Bustamante $5,000, the homeowner realized he did not know what he was doing. Eventually Bustamante stopped showing up to the jobsite for weeks at a time, leading the property owner to file a complaint.
The court ordered Bustamante to pay $2,100 in fines and fees and he was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation.
On March 11, 2020, Jesus Amezcua Elias, 61 of Hereford, pleaded guilty to Contracting Without a License, a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the Sierra Vista Justice Court.
Elias, DBA Desert Gold Concrete LLC, contracted with a Sierra Vista property owner to build a block wall. The property owner paid Elias $3,000 to start the project, and Elias started part of the side wall before abandoning both the job and a cement mixer.
The court ordered Elias to pay a $1,852 fine. No restitution was requested by the property owner, who sold the abandoned cement mixer to recover their loss and hired someone else to complete the project.
On March 11, 2020, Kyle Welch, 33 of Glendale, pleaded guilty to Contracting Without a License, a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the Encanto Justice Court.
A Phoenix homeowner needed roof repairs and found Welch, DBA Kyle’s Handyman Services LLC, on the referral website Thumbtack. Welch contracted to do the repairs and was paid $3,664 for the job.
Unfortunately for the homeowner, after the job was completed, a rain storm revealed roof leaks in the area Welch worked. When the homeowner could not get Welch to return to fix his repair, they filed a complaint with AZ ROC and discovered Welch did not have a contractor's license.
The court ordered Welch to pay $2,412.71 in restitution to the homeowner and a $1,000 fine.
On March 6, 2020, William Darwin Manuel, 53 of Chloride, pleaded guilty to Contracting Without a License, a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the Kingman Justice Court.
A Kingman homeowner saw Darwin’s advertisement on the referral website Thumbtack and contacted him about a remodeling project. Darwin, DBA My Manuel Construction and AWD Construction, first contracted to remodel the homeowner’s kitchen, and other rooms of the house were later added on to the project.
Darwin started the job, but payments began to get ahead of the work. He started making excuses for the delayed work and after being paid $3,850, he eventually stopped showing up altogether. Not only was the job left incomplete, but the quality was poor. The homeowners later discovered some of Darwin’s work would have to be completely torn out and redone; including a cracking concrete pad that was incorrectly graded and poured.
The court ordered Darwin to pay $5,000 in restitution, $1,853 in fines and fees and he was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation.
On March 6, 2020, Ronald Spink, 65 of Scottsdale, was found guilty of Contracting Without a License, a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the Scottsdale City Court.
Spink, DBA Ron’s Handyman Services, contracted to make multiple repairs on a Scottsdale home for $8,000. Six months and $27,900 later, only one of the seven repairs was complete. After Spink became unresponsive to the homeowner’s calls, the homeowner filed a complaint with AZ ROC.
A restitution and sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 8, 2020, in the Scottsdale City Court.
Luis Fernando Franco
On March 4, 2020, Luis Fernando Franco, 34 of Tempe, was found guilty of Contracting Without a License, a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the Scottsdale City Court.
Franco, DBA Franco Stone LLC, contracted to fabricate and install natural stone kitchen countertops at a Scottsdale residence for $3,850. A few days later he changed the price to $4,000. After making several excuses for not starting the job, the price was again changed to $7,225.
After being eventually told by Franco that he could not complete the project, the homeowner filed a complaint with AZ ROC.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 8, 2020, in the Scottsdale City Court.
AZ ROC frequently receives complaints regarding unlicensed entities exploiting property owners ranging from poor work to complete abandonment. If hiring someone else to do the work and the entire project, including labor and materials, is over $1,000 or requires a permit by the local municipality, a license is required by Arizona Revised Statute 32-1121.
AZ ROC reminds property owners to ask contractors of their license status and to check the license using the contractor search at www.roc.az.gov or giving the Agency a call at 1-877-692-9762.