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Alleged Fake Contractor From Lake Elsinore Denied Lower Bail

Multiple alleged victims of Reynaldo Rodriguez Jr. were identified initially, but according to the District Attorney's Office, even more people came forward -- 24 in all -- alleging fraud after the defendant was jailed.

Reynaldo Rodriguez Jr. Photo/Riverside County Sheriff's Dept.
Reynaldo Rodriguez Jr. Photo/Riverside County Sheriff's Dept.

A judge Thursday denied a request for lower bail for a Lake Elsinore man accused of posing as a licensed contractor and taking customers' money for jobs that he barely started -- and never finished -- before disappearing.

Reynaldo Rodriguez Jr., 31, was arrested Dec. 10 following an investigation by Riverside County sheriff's detectives that culminated in the filing of more than four dozen felony and misdemeanor charges, including grand theft, burglary, contracting without a license, embezzling from an elder or disabled victim and a sentence-enhancing allegation of committing a white- collar crime.

Rodriguez appeared today before Superior Court Judge Jerome Block at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. Deputy Public Defender Mark Davis submitted a motion seeking to have Rodriguez's $250,000 bail reduced, but the prosecution objected, and Block found there were grounds for maintaining the current surety.

Rodriguez has prior felony convictions for possession of illegal drugs and committing contractor fraud, both of which resulted in jail time and probation, court records show.

The defendant is being held at the Southwest Detention Center.

According to sheriff's officials, investigators were informed in early December of suspected fraudulent activity, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in losses to property owners.

Lt. Zachary Hall of the Lake Elsinore Sheriff's StationĀ alleged that the defendant presented himself as a "legitimate contractor" while soliciting work.

"Once a quote was provided and monies were paid, Rodriguez either completed very little work -- or none at all," Hall said. "Rodriguez conducted business under the name 'R&R Construction' or 'Ray's Hardscapes."'

Multiple alleged victims were identified initially, but according to the District Attorney's Office, even more people came forward -- 24 in all -- alleging fraud after the defendant was jailed.

Block scheduled a felony settlement conference in the case for Feb. 20. --City News Service


Steve January 24, 2014 at 05:12 PM
All licensed contractors should be partnered with banks so a third party controls the money. When I got new windows there was no down payment, the bank took care of the finance.
Alek J Hidell January 25, 2014 at 02:21 PM
In most countries compensation can be obtained not only from the criminal but his immediate family members. This rule forces the family to take an interest in their thieving relation. We need to hold them responsible too.
Pauly January 25, 2014 at 03:50 PM
It is goofballs like this man that make potential customers for legitimate licenced contractors apprehensive, causing us unnecessary complications. I should have known there was drugs involved, as much as I am against too much govt regulation, a drug test should be required to obtain a contractors licence.
william grant January 26, 2014 at 12:55 PM
It isn't that tuff to be a legit contractor! Lazy thug.
Ken January 29, 2014 at 10:27 PM
william, Ya but it's even easier to be a crook
Steve January 29, 2014 at 11:36 PM
If a meth addict can stay clean for 3 months they can pass a hair follicle test, then get their license. Some contractors are front loaders so you better know the rules.

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