A Sausalito man was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Sonoma County Superior Court Monday for bilking 22 victims of a solar energy system installation scam.Peter Kent Davidson, 59, also was ordered to pay $195,456.54 to the 22 victims in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said. Davidson pleaded no contest in October to nine felony counts including burglary, conversion of construction funds, and elder financial abuse.
Many of the victims were elderly or disabled, Ravitch said.The California Contractors State License Board began investigating Davidson’s business, American Sun Solar Company,in 2008, Ravitch said.Davidson’s contractor’s license was revoked in 2002, but he continued to operate his business under several different contractors’ license numbers without the board’s knowledge or consent, Ravitch said.
Davidson solicited the sale and installation of more than 20 different solar energy systems in both counties, Ravitch said.Some of the homeowners paid substantial money up front for a solar energy system but received nothing, and others paid in full but received an incomplete or improperly installed system, Ravitch said.Other homeowners paid a $1,000 deposit based on Davidson’s promise he would refund the money if financing fell through and did not get a refund when financing was unsuccessful, Ravitch said.
Some homeowners who did get an operable solar energy system had liens placed on their homes when Davidson failed to pay the systems’ suppliers with the homeowners’ money, Ravitch said. Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Dana Simonds noted Davidson has a lengthy criminal history that includes construction scams, Ravitch said. Simonds indicated in October, when Davidson pleaded to the felony counts, that she would sentence Davidson to a maximum 10-year term.
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