A Chula Vista man posed as a licensed contractor and scammed elderly customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars according to prosecutors, even accompanying one woman to the bank and calling her “Mom” as she withdrew cash for him.
Raul Casillas, 49, was arrested Dec. 10 as a result of a new partnership between county and state investigators.
Casillas, who doesn’t have a state-issued contractor license, used another person’s license number to advertise for and contract several home improvement projects investigators said.
One elderly couple allegedly paid Casillas $278,000 for work that was valued at less than $75,000 by an expert hired by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB).
At one point, prosecutors said Casillas went to the bank with a 79-year old woman in September and persuaded her to transfer $300,00 from her savings to checking and then to withdraw $10,000 in cash for him.
On other occasions, Casillas was seen in the bank addressing the victim as “Mom,” and writing in her checkbook register, answering questions directed towards the victim, and leaving with her arm in his hand, investigators said in a news release issued Thursday.
When he appears at his arraignment Monday, Casillas will be charged with two counts of financial elder abuse, three counts of grand theft, and eight counts of residential burglary according to prosecutors.
The arrest is the first to result from a new partnership formed just this fall. A member of the CSLB statewide fraud team works fulltime with the San Diego County District Attorney’s office to prosecute suspects who commit construction –related scams against the elderly.