06-11-08 Citizen Alert - Suspect in California Fraud Known to be in Idaho
Boise, June 11, 2008 - Boise Police are working with officers from all over Southern Idaho, California, as well as federal authorities, in investigating reports of transient unregistered asphalt pavers defrauding Idaho citizens out of thousands of dollars.
Boise Police have identified one man who was arrested in Boise Monday, George J. Stanley, who has identification from both Florida and Connecticut, as also facing felony charges related to fraudulent asphalt paving operations out of several counties in California. Stanley is also the subject of a civil case along with the criminal charges in Tulare County, California. He currently faces Idaho charges connected to the unsafe operation of a commercial vehicle.
Earlier this week, officers with the Boise Police Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit arrested two men accused of violating Idaho's commercial vehicle laws (see release pasted below from June 9th for details on the arrest, as well as details of the paving complaints.).
Boise officers recognized the suspects and their equipment as matching the subject of several citizen complaints about potentially fraudulent paving operations attempting to sell their services door to door. Citizen complaints have been reported to police from Canyon County and Twin Falls County.
When arrested by Boise Police Monday, Stanley and his driver, David Andreasson of Arizona were driving a dump truck with expired New Hampshire license plates. Officers found a business registered to Stanley in Connecticut. Idaho law requires all contractors working in the state to register with Idaho authorities. Workers must be able to present proof of that registration to potential customers upon request. Operating without the required registration is a misdemeanor that can result in jail time and fines.
Stanley is not, at this time facing any charges related to consumer fraud in Idaho (read pending Idaho charges below). However investigators believe the California charges, and Stanley's matching the description of citizen complaints throughout Southern Idaho, is important information to get out to Idahoans to prevent them from falling victim to what may be fraudulent business practices.
"Our concern is the same criminals who targeted unsuspecting citizens in California with these paving deals, have now moved into Idaho," said Sgt. Randy Buzzini of the Boise Police Property and Financial Crimes Investigation Unit.
"We understand the 'too good to be true' deals we're getting complaints on here are the same methods used for criminal purposes in California. We're trying to educate citizens about potential frauds, make them aware of Idaho law and the options they have as consumers, and protect them from falling victim to people who would take their money and run." said Sgt. Buzzini.
Boise Police urge anyone who may have information about a asphalt paving businesses operating illegally, or citizens who may have fallen victim to illegal business practices, to contact their local law enforcement agency.
Boise Police have also learned from authorities in California that other operators of similar, potentially fraudulent unregistered out of state asphalt pavers may be targeting Idaho.
"The information we have is these folks learn from each other. If one group can find victims, other groups will target that same area," said Sgt. Buzzini. "We want to keep Idahoans alert, so those who choose to operate illegally won't find Idaho an easy target."
The Boise Better Business Bureau also offers this advice:
- That citizens do not do business with out of state companies claiming to offer below-market deals on asphalt paving.
- Citizens request to see the company’s permit to solicit, Idaho Contractor’s License and proof of worker’s comp insurance.
- Consumers seeking a business to perform asphalt paving are encouraged to contact the BBB at 342-4649 or www.bbb.org for a free reliability report.
For additional details on this issue, please refer to the following recent news releases:
- May 15th, 2008, by the California Contractors State License Board:
- June 3, 2008 by the Ada County Sheriff's Office:
- June 3, 2008, from the Better Business Bureau of Boise:
Original BPD Release:
Boise, June 9, 2008 - Boise Police have arrested two men, one for DUI, both on violations of Idaho's Commercial Vehicle Code, and officers say the pair is also under investigation for any connection they may have to transient unregistered asphalt pavers responsible for several citizen complaints throughout the Treasure Valley.
Arrested: David Andreasson, 28, Tempe AZ
Charges: DUI (m), Driving without a Commercial Vehicle License (m)
Arrested: George J. Stanley, 28, Lehigh, FL
Charges: Driving Without Privileges (m), 10 DOT (state commercial vehicle code) violations, including 6 serious violations (m)
What Happened: Approx. 8:30 a.m. this morning, a Boise Police Officer with special training in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement spotted a dump truck pulling a flatbed trailer with paving equipment. The trailer had no operating turn signals and a light out. As the officer approached the vehicle, he could smell alcohol on the drivers breath. After further investigation, the driver of the truck, Andreasson, was arrested for DUI and not having the a Commercial Vehicle License, as required by law to drive such a vehicle.
Second Arrest: Investigating officers had the driver contact the owner of the dump truck and paving equipment to take possession of it. When the owner, identified as Stanley showed up, officers found he was driving on a suspended out of state driver's license. As the truck and equipment owner, he was also cited for ten violations of the Idaho state commercial vehicle code. Among other problems, officers found the truck to be operating without proper brakes or brake pads, no turn signals, and without the proper equipment to secure it's load. The truck is registered in New Hampshire.
Paving Complaints: Boise Police will work with officers from other local police agencies in investigating any connection this case may have to reports of possible paving fraud throughout the valley (see news release issued by Ada County Sheriff's Office at adasheriff.org).
According to reports, the claim to have asphalt leftover from a previous job and offer to sell it to the victim at a 'bargain price' if they pay for work to begin immediately, only to find driveway resurfacing would have been superior in quality and less expensive in price if done by an established local company. In other cases, homeowners were quoted one price, but the final cost is double or triple the quoted amount.
Officers want to alert citizens who may be contacted at their home by workers claiming to have materials to immediately do paving work, to research the company before agreeing to do business with them. Idaho law requires all contractors to register with the State. Workers must be able to present proof of that registration to potential customers upon request. Operating without the required registration is a misdemeanor that can result in jail time and fines. Citizens may also contact the Better Business Bureau to investigate a company before agreeing to do business.