CCB: ID thief posing as contractor used Craigslist to find victi - KPTV - FOX 12

CCB: ID thief posing as contractor used Craigslist to find victims

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Gerald Borton, Oregon Department of Corrections booking photo Gerald Borton, Oregon Department of Corrections booking photo

A man in prison for identity theft had claimed to be a contractor and found his victims on Craigslist, bilking them out of thousands of dollars, according to the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.

Gerald James Borton, 41, of Gresham, pleaded no contest to the charge of identity theft in court earlier this month.

The CCB said he stole a legitimate construction contractor's business name and license number. In two cases, he connected with people who placed ads on Craigslist soliciting help with home and business projects.

The CCB said Borton talked one couple into paying $1,500 up front for permits he never obtained, and then talked them out of another $700.

When they eventually looked up his supposed license number on the CCB website, investigators said they discovered the information actually belonged to a real contractor, Marvin Floyd of All Around Handyman.

Floyd had never heard of Borton, according to the CCB. Floyd has been licensed with the CCB since 2002 and warned against using sites like Craigslist to find contractors.

"It's open to too much fraud and abuse," he said. "What entices people to go there is that it's free but they end up paying for it in the end."

The CCB checks Craigslist daily, and a report from the organization said they routinely find people pretending to be contractors by working without a license.

Legitimate contractors must include their CCB number on any advertising so you can verify their license, matching it with the information on the CCB website.

Licensed contractors carry bonds and insurance and can be held accountable if something goes wrong. Only licensed contractors can get required building permits.

Borton is serving 30 months in prison. At the time he was sentenced for ID theft, he was already in prison on charges out of Clackamas County for witness tampering and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Authorities said he has other past Clackamas County charges, including probation violations involving assault and strangulation. Additionally, he racked up $11,000 in unpaid civil penalties with the CCB for working repeatedly as an unlicensed contractor, according to the board.

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