LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Steve Aguilera thinks the state licensing board let him down.
Aguilera contracted to pay almost $24,000 for a new roof on his home in Torrance. So far, he is contesting the bill and has only paid a small amount.
“We shouldn’t have torn shingles, we have broken stucco, we have a skylight that isn’t fitting properly, we have boards that are flexing that shouldn’t flex,” he told CBS2’s David Goldstein.
Aguilera contracted with Green Living of Torrance after doing his due diligence. He even went to the contractors state licensing board website, the state agency that polices contractors, and saw Green Living is licensed.
“We did some intensive research,” he said. “We took like three days of research through the internet and found nothing but positive, and so we said, ‘Well, OK, it seems good’.”
But after he had problems with the roof, his family researched the company online. It seems that the 2321 Torrance Blvd. location listed on the license for Green Living is the same as the license for All American Design, the company Goldstein caught in a hidden camera investigation last year.
When asked whether he thinks the company just changed its name to get a clean record, Aguilera said, “Of course, of course.”
“My daughter, my son, and my wife, we all dug deep and said, ‘Hey, it looks like these guys got in trouble and so they had to go back and go out and change their name to something else,” he added.
Because of numerous complaints, the state contractor’s board revoked All American’s license in July of this year, saying that CEO and president Adam Shaul had knowledge and/or participated in the acts that warranted the filing.
It’s the same Adam Shaul that was spotted at Green Living’s headquarters, which used to be the headquarters of All American. Shaul’s fancy car was parked in a stall with his name.
In fact, photos from Green Living’s website look almost identical to All American’s.
Shaul isn’t named on the license. Ruben Ades Shai is CEO and president.
But Shaul wouldn’t talk to Goldstein – who obtained images of the two celebrating Shaul’s birthday last year – when asked about the company.
Upon hearing about the connection, the state contractors board said, “There’s nothing in this licensee’s application that would have raised a flag for us. It appears the building at that address is two stories. It’s possible there could be two different companies working out of that same building.”
But if inspectors had come to the location, they may have seen a link right before their eyes: a sign with faded letters underneath that spell out “All American Design.”
State law doesn’t prohibit Shaul from being an employee of the new company but he may not hold a position of authority, and the contractor’s board said it now will investigate his position with the company.
UPDATE: Since this story was posted, and after reviewing complaints against Green Living, the California Contractor’s State Licensing Board has referred the matter to the California Attorney General’s Office and requested that it file an accusation against Green Living for various alleged violations of the California Business and Professions Code. Aguilera is contesting the charges and has only paid a small portion of the bill. This report was corrected on Dec. 28, 2017.