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Unlicensed contractor arrested in Bend on theft by fraud charge; detectives seek other scam victims

(Update: Adding video)

Deputies say Calif. man found victims on Facebook, made off with down payments

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – An unlicensed contractor from California was arrested in Bend on a Crook County charge of theft by deception or fraud this week. Deschutes County sheriff’s detectives said Thursday they believe there have been other victims of his scam around Central Oregon and want to hear from them.

In March, a sheriff’s detective began receiving information from several Deschutes and Crook County citizens regarding “Quesada Handyman Service” and Jacob I.C. Quesada, 29, of Lodi, California, Sergeant Kent Vander Kamp said.

The citizens said Quesada was being paid for jobs such as residential and commercial flooring and deck installations and painting.

Vander Kamp noted state law requires contractors to have licenses and insurance to offer such services, but Quesada had neither.

Quesada often advertised his services on Facebook and would communicate with potential customers on that social media platform, the sergeant said. Victims would meet in person and provide down payments to Quesada, but sometimes he’d never return; other times, he began the work and stopped in mid-project, or the work was substandard, he said.

Detectives investigating the claims found a Crook County victim who lost “substantial money” to Quesada, Vander Kamp said, adding that detectives believe Quesada is a California resident who returns to the Central Oregon area regularly to pursue the scam.

Earlier this month, a Deschutes County detective presented the case to the Crook County District Attorney’s Office and an arrest warrant was obtained.

Quesada was stopped Tuesday in Bend for a traffic violation – no license plates or a valid temporary registration – and was lodged in the Deschutes County Jail on the Crook County charge of first-degree theft by deception or fraud, Vander Kamp said.

He was released the next day after posting 10 percent of his $15,000 bail, but has since been indicted on the charge, the sergeant said.

Vander Kamp said more charges are expected, as detectives believe there are other victims of Quesada’s scam in Central Oregon. Anyone who has been a victim is asked to call Vander Kamp at 541-550-4869 or dispatchers at 541-693-6911 to make a report, referencing Case No. 21-22798.

The sheriff’s office also reminded citizens to “use caution and due diligence when hiring a contractor. The Oregon Construction Contractors Board website offers resources to help avoid common scams and confirm a professional’s license status.

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



    1. Taking advantage of unknowing and unintelligent people for financial gain? That’s the American way! It’ll trickle down, don’t worry.

  1. Hes gone and will not face the charges. He will move on to another area and keep up the scam. Look at him smile. He thinks its all a joke.

    1. You got that right. He doesn’t even “live” here. His social media is all California and he’s likely in a different state or back in California already.

  2. I recently hired a local painting contractor. I looked at the Oregon CCB website to verify his active license. They have a list of known scam artists there, too. I don’t know if Quesada’s name is on that list, but I sure am glad he was arrested for such slimy behavior.

  3. I saw this guy posting to FB all the time. It was pretty obvious that it wasn’t above board. Gotta beware when hiring people for work.

  4. Always check for a CCB license number, and look it up to see if is legitimate, and active, also several years of local references, many of these thieves use other contractors CCB numbers, so get a description of the person from the references. This happens all the time, very few victims get any sort of restitution. This guy scammed a “substantial amount of money” from his victim, and was let out of jail by posting $1,500.00, this guy should have left with an ankle bracelet, but instead will never be seen again. Indicted, indicted, INDICTED.
    After you’re indicted, then you’ll go to trial. Getting to trial, however, isn’t as cut and dry as it’s portrayed on television. There will be numerous pre-trial hearings, and depending on how busy the courts are in your state, it can be months or even years before you’ll ever make it before a jury. YES IT’S LIKE THAT.

  5. Why do criminals matter? Btw There’s far more crime committed daily by White people than not white.. you choose not to take notice of them though cuz of the way our brain’s work.. you should try Reading a science book before..well before you do anything else.. but especially before speaking.. sharing your opinion doesn’t help us at all when you have no understanding of .. well anything at all..

  6. I was going to hire this guy to frame in a door for me. But after I did a search on line about him and found he was arrested before I cancelled the appointment for him to come out and give me a quote. This was last year.

    1. WHEW, Phoenix Knight… you were lucky and smart to cancel ASAP. I like that he was caught THIS time; but 10% of $15,000 and released? HAHAHAHAHAHA! So ridiculous these days with our super-Lib-Democrat DA. He will of course, be gone to continue his fun life of ripping off others. Fresh Meat probably does similar things to get through his narrow little life since he loves to insult people.

  7. The system is so corrupt, $1500 out of the substantial amount he took from “victims” is a small amount to pay to be able to go out and do it somewhere else. With him doing this multiple times, not having a license plate/temp tags, a undisclosed amount of “victims” money, not to mention he is from out of the area/state why have bail at all or at least so low? Just shows the priority of justice for the people who live here.

  8. I wonder why they don’t mention his previous record. You can search his name and find other news stories about other crimes in Central Oregon this man was found guilty of. People can hire unlicensed contractors, it’s a free country, but inviting an unknown person into your home when he’s a gang banger in Cali, used “straw buyers” to buy guns in Bend and then took them to the gangs in Cali, and was hauling drugs and money back and forth, is a really bad way to try and save a few bucks. Hire a licensed contractor unless you know the person really well, and even then you run the risk of an injury that without workers comp you’ll be paying for his health care AND lost wages for up to 2 years.

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