Worst Portland Contractors of 2009
Aspen Tree Homes | Bend, Ore.
Joanie Krehbiel of Bend likens Don Loyd of Aspen Tree Homes to "Jim Jones," the 1970s cult leader who led more than 900 people to poison themselves.
According to federal court documents, Loyd allegedly convinced people to invest in real estate by securing a construction loan in their own names and then using Loyd as the general contractor to build the house.
Losses mounted when the real estate market crashed and the houses didn't sell. In many cases, Loyd is accused of walking away with investors' money and not completing the projects, according to court documents.
"He got us all very committed to him," Krehbiel says. "He knew more than we did and led us down a road that was not going to be real successful." She says she lost about $100,000.
The Oregon Construction Contractors Board suspended Loyd's license, and has ordered him to pay more than $254,000 to subcontractors, suppliers and homeowners.
He also has more than $2,200 in fines for failing to inform homeowners of liens and licensing laws. Four people have civil cases pending against him in federal court.
Krehbiel wants Loyd to be held accountable. "He's blown out of town," she says. "He's long gone. No one can find him." Loyd could not be reached for comment.
According to federal court records, investigators have not been able to find Loyd to serve him court papers and no attorney is on record to represent him.
AAA Asphalt & Paving | Damascus, Ore.
William Levi Stanley, doing business as AAA Asphalt & Paving/Metro Asphalt Paving, has racked up more than $95,000 in fines for operating without a license in cases involving more than a dozen victims.
Combined with $29,000 owed to customers, Stanley's outstanding balance with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board is more than $124,000 in civil fines.
Jay and Becky Hendrickson of Boring say Stanley offered to pave their large rural driveway for $4,000. They questioned his competency when the workers kept spraying water on the asphalt as they laid it.
When the work continued into the night, the Hendricksons went to bed and woke up to a poorly paved driveway. "We got up and it was terrible," Becky says. "They said they were going to redo it, but they never came back."
Stanley's workers also were caught on tape by Portland's KATU-TV doing shoddy, unlicensed work in a northeast Portland neighborhood.
When asked on camera about his work, Stanley said his supplier gave him bad asphalt. He told KATU he was leaving the state.
Stanley did not return calls from Angie's List Magazine seeking comment.
New Path Renewables PacWind-Or LLC | Bend, Ore.
With more than two dozen alleged victims and $1.5 million in losses, the fraud case against Eric Robert "Gabe" Wisehart and his company, New Path Renewables PacWind-Or LLC, is being called the largest in Deschutes County history by District Attorney Michael Dugan.
Wisehart, an illegally unlicensed Bend contractor, sold and installed solar panels. The 29-count indictment filed in September alleges Wisehart, who also did business as Solect Systems Inc., returned to job sites and stole property valued at $10,000 to $900,000 from homeowners, a golf resort and a market.
Wisehart remained in the Deschutes County Jail as of press time, and his next court date was set for Dec. 15.
He also owes more than $40,000 in unpaid civil fines to the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.
Greg Jensen says he gave Wisehart a $13,000 down payment to install a solar panel system for a rental house, but the contractor never did the work.
"He's a great salesman," Jensen says. "He's a very believable guy and a very personable guy. If he'd gone straight, he would have done really well."
– reporting by Matthew Brady