Unlicensed contractor at center of Troubleshooter investigations sent to prison for continuing to accept contracting jobs

Diane Wilson Image
Friday, February 14, 2020
Unlicensed contractor sentenced to 4 months in prison
Unlicensed contractor sentenced to 4 months in prison

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- An unlicensed contractor is now behind bars after taking on several jobs he wasn't licensed to do.

Troubleshooter: Avoiding headaches in home improvement

In a Wake County courtroom Friday, a judge sentenced Jorge Alberto Garcia to 120 days behind bars for five counts of criminal contempt. These charges all stem from Garcia violating a court order he signed in 2017 with the North Carolina Licensing Board of General Contractors. In that order, he agreed to stop acting as a licensed contractor. However, ABC11 Troubleshooter investigations showed Garcia continued to act as a licensed contractor as he took on jobs that paid more than $30,000.

Dorothy Harris, 83, was one of Garcia's victims. She testified in court that she paid Garcia a quarter of a million dollars for work on her Chapel Hill home. While some work did get done, she said the majority did not. Harris was happy with the outcome in court today.

"I feel like he deserves this because I told him he was going to pay for this," Harris said. "He needs not to do this to anyone else."

Peter Crassweller was another victim of Garcia's. He and his wife paid Garcia more than $60,000 for work on their home. ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson confronted Garcia at Crassweller's home and Garcia promised to make it right. So far, Garcia has paid the Crassweller's about $21,000 back.

"I'm happy he got as much time as he did," Crassweller said. "My main thing is that other people will be protected from this type of activity."

Our investigation was even played as evidence in court today. A judge listened to the ABC11 interview with Garcia when he admitted to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson that he was not licensed to take on jobs over $30,000.

In court, after pleading no contest to the five counts of contempt, Garcia did say he was sorry. His attorney asked for no jail time, instead the judge gave Garcia 120 days behind bars.

Frank Wiesner with the State Licensing Board of General Contractors said, "Today was a verdict that we have a person who has an absolute disregard for the law."

This is not the end of troubles for Garcia, he is still facing criminal charges in several counties.