Defendant Convicted of Impersonating a Contractor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2011

CONTACT:
ADA Seth Steward, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1014
Erica Terry Derryck, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167

DEFENDANT CONVICTED OF IMPERSONATING A CONTRACTOR

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Siale Fangupo, (DOB 8/25/1973 CN 10020359), was convicted by a jury of impersonating a contractor.

“Consumers need to be able to rely on a contractor’s license,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “In this case, the victim entered into a contract with the defendant based on a name, company name and license number that did not belong to her.”

On Thursday, March 3, 2011, after deliberating for two days, a jury found defendant Fangupo guilty of fraudulent use of a contractor’s license number in violation of Business and Professions Code Section 7027.3 and falsely impersonating another person in violation of California Penal Code Section 529. Both of these convictions are felonies. The jury also found the defendant guilty of acting as a contractor without a license in violation of Business and Professions Code Section 7028, a misdemeanor.

Additionally, the jury found true the allegation that the defendant took or damaged property in the commission or attempted commission of a felony in excess of $200,000 in violation of California Penal Code Section 12022.6(a)(2) and found true the allegation that the defendant had previously acted as a contractor without a license in violation of Business and Professions Code Section 7028. The jury found the defendant not guilty of a second violation of Business and Professions Code Section 7027.3 and the jury did not reach a verdict on the charge of grand theft in violation of California Penal Code Section 487(a).

According to evidence presented at trial, the defendant impersonated her uncle, Sione Eteaki, who was a licensed contractor in Long Beach, CA, by using his name, company name and contractor’s license number. She used this false identity to obtain and undertake a large residential construction project for a San Francisco homeowner. The project was valued at over $350,000. The project centered around building an in-law unit.

The maximum statutory penalty the defendant faces is five years and eight months in state prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 30, 2011at 3:00 p.m. in Department 604 before the Honorable Marla Miller.

"We applaud District Attorney Gascón and his team for their aggressive prosecution of this case," said Contractors State License Board Registrar Steve Sands. "This verdict sends an important message that state and local authorities can and do work together to make sure phony contractors don't get away with ripping off unsuspecting consumers."

Assistant District Attorney Evan Ackiron prosecuted the case. Investigator Rose Kalidin of the Contractors State License Board, investigated the case.

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