A renegade contractor-landscaper who allegedly bilked victims from Lamorinda to San Jose out of tens of thousands of dollars has been returned to California after his arrest in Medford, Oregon last month.
Authorities in Medford said Adan Contreras-Rivas was engaged in a fraudulent landscaping enterprise when he was arrested in their city last month. Allegations that the highly mobile landscaper was wanted in connection with a string of crimes in California surfaced as police investigated his case.
Contreras-Rivas, who allegedly trolled affluent neighborhoods in search of often-elderly customers looking for someone to do yard work or light construction, took money and promptly ran out on those jobs, according to investigators for the Contractors State License Board.
Bail for Contreras-Rivas was initially set at $250,000, but has been boosted to $346,000 as the contractor was processed into the main jail facility in San Jose.
Alleged victims, many of whom have been in contact with this site as news of Contreras-Rivas’ arrest broke in Oregon, have told NEWS24/680 that the contractor took money for demolition or removal work – depositing debris from one job onto the property of other clients. One said they gave the contractor $30,000 for work that was never done and took them much more money to repair after he’d left the area.
A court date has been scheduled for later this month in San Jose.
There are hundreds out there just like him. They hope you will just get tired of trying to get your money back from them. I hope this guy is prosecuted to the fullest.
Waiting and watching to see what happens.
I don’t know if I’m angrier with him or middle aged adults who can’t find it in their heart to take care of their elderly parents. We all lead very busy lives… please see to it that this doesn’t happen to your elderly parents. Even if you have to move back to the area where your parent(s) live, or take them under your roof.
For those of you who already doing so… God bless you.
@Danielle – Oh my, this one struck home. Nice post…
That’s why you use licensed contractors
Have to agree with Dan there!
Our favorites are the guys who drive around asking if you want auto body work done on your car. The last one to come by had his girlfriend in the car and she was soooo stoned on something she could barely hold her head up.
Rip off an elderly person??? Flogging is too good for him. We’re watching this one.
Licensed contractors will take advantage of the elderly too. They might not take the money and run, but if you don’t think a contractor (licensed or not) will try and overcharge the elderly, especially if they have a little extra money in their pocket in an affluent suburb, you’re being naïve. You have to be there and negotiate the deal, and get the “senior discount and then some.”
We don’t let anyone in my parents home (or our home) unless we grew up with them, or the young adults of someone we grew up with. Unless you ask “how’s your Mom?” – you’re not getting in the door.
Anyone can get ripped off, but the elderly and people at the opposite ends of the socioeconomic scales will get targeted, but for different reasons.
Rivas has a hearing scheduled in Santa Clara on the 24th of May. His bond is set at $333,000. Authorities will eventually arrest his sisters as accomplices. Rivas faces dozens of charges and deportation.
Linda–would love to know how you approached this in getting the authorities involved. He is back at it again in my neighborhood, up in Contra Costa County now. He began work for my neighbor and me…significant upfront payment for materials (because he was supposed to deliver and install the next day), and he’s been lying and a no-show ever since. It’s been 50 days.
Where in Contra Costa County?
I’m in San Jose area. Unfortunately I fell for it too. Feel very stupid. Gave him almost $30k and has been no show since then.
Apparently, he’s out and doing the same scam in Alamo-Danville area. He was going around offering tree trimming service in my neighborhood today. Curious on how the hearing went. Did he even serve jail time?
I’m in San Jose. He offered to cut all the trees for my back yard at a very low price and I agreed, and he did the work. Since then he offered to renovate all of my backyard at a very low (again) price. Unfortunately I fell for it and gave him almost all money upfront and has been no show 10 days now. I have a lot of phone numbers and info on his sister as well.