By Cathy Locke
A man accused of paving scams in several counties statewide has been extradited to California, where he faces multiple charges of fraud, theft and failure to appear in court.
Police in Duncan, Okla., arrested Richard John Williams, 65, June 28, when they were tipped to his whereabouts, according to a California Contractors State License Board news release. Williams was wanted on three outstanding Lake County warrants.
He pleaded not guilty July 30, and a preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 27 in Lake County Superior Court.
The $750,000 arrest warrant was issued for Williams in March 2009 for attempted elder abuse and petty theft. In April 2009, a no-bail warrant was issued because he failed to appear in court to answer charges of grand theft and contracting without a license, which stemmed from a contractors license board sting. A $10,000 warrant was issued in June 2009 when Williams failed to appear for sentencing on his January 2009 no-contest plea to grand theft.
Williams is suspected of conning consumers in Butte, Colusa, Mendocino, Napa, Sacramento, Sonoma and Yolo counties since 2005, according to the news release. In early 2009, officials say, Williams was operating throughout Lake County and surrounding regions under the business name "Seal Coat Contractor."
During that time, he is accused of attempting to scam for a second time an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The man was among the victims in the cases to which Williams had previously pleaded no contest.
On March 19, 2009, the Contractors State License Board and Lake County District Attorney's investigators set up a sting operation and arrested Williams in Kelseyville for bidding $3,500 on a paving job. California law requires a state contractor's license to legally bid on home improvement work valued at $500 or more for combined materials and labor.
Williams fled the state soon after the sting, earning him a spot on the license board's "most wanted" list.
Anyone who thinks they have been scammed by Williams may contact the Contractors State License Board's Intake/Mediation Center at (916) 255-4777.
Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.