The Star-News


Guilty man repays $60,000

Sat, Mar 05 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Neal Putnam

An unlicensed contractor from Chula Vista who pleaded guilty to committing financial elder abuse in a remodeling scam presented $60,000 in restitution to one victim on Feb. 15 and was sentenced to one year in jail.

Raul Casillas, 50, had been free on $150,000 bond, but went into custody immediately after San Diego Superior Court Judge Charles Gill placed him on five years probation. Casillas had agreed to come up with at least $60,000 in return for not receiving a state prison term.

His projected release date is Aug. 13. He is serving his term in the East Mesa Detention Facility, according to the sheriff's department. He received credit for five days previously spent in jail.

A restitution hearing for March 18 was set by Gill to determine if he owes any more money to his victims, some of whom are elderly. Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood said the $60,000 check came from a trust account his attorney had set up for restitution.

Casillas also pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of another contractor's license in a nonprofit project in National City called Christmas in July. Greenwood said Casillas also pleaded guilty in 2008 to three counts of performing work as an unlicensed contractor.

Casillas was arrested in 2009 when he accompanied one elderly victim to her bank and then started calling her "Mom" as she tried to withdraw funds from her account.

Bank officials testified at his 2010 preliminary hearing how it appeared Casillas was manipulating the woman to withdraw a large amount of money.

 


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