Man arrested for contractor scams

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A local man is facing multiple charges including grand theft and contracting without a license after advertising a false contracting business online.

Lamberto Montano, also known as Albert Montano Lopez was arrested Monday around noon, Kern County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

An investigation into Montano revealed he ‘routinely posted advertisements under the business name “New Renovations” for granite and cabinet work,’ according to the district attorney’s office. Montano, who is not a licensed contractor, would then request excessive down payments up front and then never finish the project; or he never show up after a down payment transaction, the district attorney’s office said.

Witnesses and victims say he posed as a licensed contractor, granite and cabinet store owner, or a handyman. The posts are in English and Spanish.

On occasion, Montano would bring workers with him without worker’s compensation insurance.

Montano was arrested for first-degree burglary, theft by false pretenses, second-degree burglary, grand theft, contracting without a license, charging an excessive down payment, not providing worker’s compensation insurance and petty theft, according to the district attorney’s office.

If you believe you were defrauded by Montano, call the district attorney’s office at (661) 868-5859.

District Attorney’s Office provided  tips when hiring someone to work in and around your home:

  • Use a licensed contractor
  • In California, all home improvement jobs totaling $500 or more in combined labor and material costs must be provided by a licensed contractor
  • Verify the license through Calif. State Contracting website: CheckTheLicenseFirst.com or by calling (800) 321-2752
  • A down payment cannot exceed $1000 or 10 percent of the contract amount, whichever is less.

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