SANTA MONICA—Jet Speed Plumbing Inc., dba Ritz Plumbing, was convicted and sentenced on January 27 by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Tamara Hall for unlawfully overcharging an 82-year old Santa Monica homeowner tens of thousands of dollars. The Los Angeles based plumbing company faces three years of probation and a disciplinary bond in the amount of $45,000.
The legal investigation into Ritz Plumbing began after the homeowner’s adult children noticed that their mother’s bank accounts and retirement savings had been depleted. Owner Reza Vandi was ordered to pass multiple Contractors State License Board’s examinations and produce all documents and contracts for review to the Contractors State License Board.
According to the Better Business Bureau, Vandi opened the plumbing business on July 4, 2011 at 1355 South La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. In the last three years, the plumbing company received 10 complaints regarding advertising and sales issues, billing and collection issues, as well as problems with products and services.
The investigation conducted by the Contractors State License Board revealed that the senior homeowner sought out Ritz Plumbing for a $5,000 plumbing job that consisted of ordinary repairs and installations. It was discovered that the plumbing company entered four additional contracts with the senior homeowner, resulting in payments from the homeowner to Ritz Plumbing in the total amount of $92,000, which Ritz Plumbing has since refunded to the homeowner.
Ritz Plumbing employee, Ignacio Duron, also embezzled an additional $81,000 from the homeowner for landscaping work that the employee had no license to perform. Duron pled no contest to his crime.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy City Attorney, Autumn Rindels, for the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office and investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs Contractor’s State License Board (CSLB).
For more information about consumer rights when hiring a contractor, or to file a complaint, visit the CLSB website at www.cslb.ca.gov or call CSLB at (800) 321-2752.