Monday, January 25

Arizona Sub-Contractor Fighting to Receive $3,000 of Pay from Fraudulent General Contractor

Updated 12/15/20

Roofing contractors are needed in the state of Arizona. This is a profession that you could excel in especially if you are a hands-on person. You can learn about being a general contractor and learn all aspects general contracting if you are interested in becoming an apprentice and go from there. You may be wondering if there is a lot of construction companies near me that are hiring and the answer is yes. You can start from there and then gain enough experience from that to advance to a roofing contractor yourself.

If you are going the route of finding a job in that field, then you should do an online search and pay attention to the construction contractor job description to see what would be required of you. While many companies are hiring, there are also licensed contractors looking for workers and apprentices to take on assignments and to learn on the job. In your search, you could find contractors for home improvement and indicate to them that your specialty is roofing. You would earn more experience from that angle.

Contractors often get a bad reputation due to the dishonest actions of a select few, and one Arizona contractor is not helping to change that narrative.

According to local news affiliate ABC 15, Nino Almeraz, who owns a floor installation company, was hired as a sub-contractor by general contractor Lance Wills in 2015 to work on a restaurant renovation.

Since Wills was technically Almeraz’s boss because of his title as “general contractor,” Wills assumed the duty of paying Almeraz and his team after the job was completed. As time went on, Wills kept promising to pay Almeraz the $3,000 he owed him until he finally ceased contact altogether.

“Every day I’d call, bugging him, texting him,” said Almeraz. “You do a job for someone, you know, you tell them what’s going on. $3,000 isn’t chump change.”

Almeraz soon learned that Wills is a well-known scammer throughout Arizona. In fact, Wills is a member of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors’ Most Wanted List, and his contracting license was revoked in 2008.

“It was a big remodel, he’s gotta be licensed,” Almeraz said, recalling his shock when he learned about Wills’ license revocation. “How else are you going to pull permits?”

More than 3 million contractors work in the U.S. every single day, and unfortunately, not all of them deliver on their promises. Wills seems to be the poster-child for misbehaving contractors. Since 2008, at least 17 complaints have been filed against the fraudster, with six being submitted for prosecution.

In February 2015, Wills was convicted of “fraudulent schemes” after leaving an elderly woman’s home incomplete, in addition to not paying his workers. All other complaints against him involve some type of job abandonment, poor work, or refusal to pay.

A scam similar to Wills’ recently took place in Tennessee, according to local news affiliate WHNT. In this case, an unlicensed contractor named Joshua Harris tore an elderly woman’s home apart before leaving with her money. On Monday, Harris entered a guilty plea for home repair fraud.

While Harris may be willing to seek forgiveness, Wills still maintains that he has done nothing wrong. He is adamant that he does not belong on the “Most Wanted List” and claims he is planning to reimburse Almeraz through a payment plan.

“None of anything he’s had to say has been factual,” Almeraz said.

Wills added that he is currently working outside the state of Arizona and does not know of any open fraud cases against him.

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