A California man was arrested Tuesday in Bend on fraud charges after he scammed Central Oregon customers who paid him for various handyman projects, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said detectives started investigating 29-year-old Jacob Quesada and “Quesada Handyman Service” in March.
Customers reported they paid Quesada for residential and commercial flooring, decking, and painting installations. Oregon law requires contractor’s licenses and insurance for these services.
Quesada is not licensed nor insured to conduct these services.
Vander Kamp said Quesada advertised his services on Facebook and communicated with victims on social media.
Victims would provide down-payments during an in-person meeting and, in some instances, Quesada would never return.
Other times, Quesada would begin the work and discontinue mid-project, or the work was sub-standard, Vander Kamp said.
During the investigation, Deschutes County detectives found a victim in Crook County that lost substantial money to Quesada.
Earlier this month, the detective presented the case to the Crook County District Attorney’s Office and an arrest warrant was obtained.
Detectives believe Quesada is a California resident and returns to the Central Oregon area to pursue this scam regularly.
While searching for Quesada, he was stopped in Bend for a traffic violation and arrested for the Crook County theft warrant.
He was charged with first-degree theft by deception or fraud.
Detectives believe there are other victims of Quesada’s scam in the central Oregon area.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone who has been a victim of this scam to call Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp at 541-550-4869 or 541-693-6911 to make a report. Reference case # 21-22798
Citizens should use caution and due diligence when hiring a contractor.
The Oregon Construction Contractors Board website offers quality resources to help avoid common scams and confirm a professional’s license status.