Sacto 9-1-1
November 1, 2010
Sacramento man sentenced in scam on elderly Davis woman

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Sacramento man has been sentenced to prison for stealing $17,000 from an elderly Davis woman.

Yolo County Superior Court Judge Kathleen White last week sentenced Willie Vains Jr., 42, to six years in prison.

Vains and a partner had charged an elderly woman in Davis more than $17,000 for supposed "handyman work." Most of the work was never done, and work that was completed was valued at little more than $1,000, according to a news release from the Yolo County District Attorney's Office.

Vains and his partner also physically intimidated the woman to get her to pay them the money.

Officials said Vains was involved in a similar scam in the 1990s, involving three elderly victims.

White denied a motion to dismiss a prior "strike" offense against Vains.

Vains' partner, Claude Gaither, was sentenced earlier this year to four year in prison for his role in the theft.

District Attorney Jeff Reisig credited vigilant friends and neighbors who discovered that the Davis woman was being scammed, and Davis Police Department detectives who spent months working on the case.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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