FROM:
Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSONS:
Janice Doi, Deputy District Attorney
Insurance Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2459   Investigator Michelle Avila
Bureau of Investigations
Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney
(408) 792-2926   For Release on October 9, 2002     COUPLE OPERATNG "ROOFING UNLIMITED", CHARGED WITH THEFT, CONTRACTOR LICENSE VIOLATIONS, INSURANCE AND TAX FRAUD   The Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney has charged James Bray, also known as James Graves, (age 59), and Martha Ortiz, also known as Martha Bray (age 56), both from Fremont, California, with 22 felony counts which include grand theft, illegally using another’s contractor’s license, worker’s compensation insurance fraud, tax fraud and money laundering. If convicted the defendants face a maximum of 25 years and 8 months in state prison.   The defendants owned and operated a roofing company called Roofing Unlimited in Santa Clara County from 1997 through 1999. The defendants’ company was operating under a fraudulently obtained contractor’s license number while doing business. The fraud came to light when roofing customers suffered leaks in their roofs. When customers attempted to have the roofs repaired under the10-year warranty provided by the defendants, they were unable to contact or locate Roofing Unlimited to report the leaks.   The defendants are also charged with defrauding the Employment Development Department, the Franchise Tax Board and the State Compensation Insurance Fund of over $500,000. By avoiding required taxes and insurance premiums, the defendants were unfairly competing with legitimate roofing companies. Legitimate employers pay Worker’s Compensation insurance premiums based on the type of business and worker for which coverage is requested. The state fund in turn provides insurance coverage for work related injuries suffered by employees. Because the employer did not pay premiums, one worker who severely injured his hand with a saw had to pay his own medical bills.   At the time the defendants were arrested, they were attempting to start a new roofing business under the name of Best Buy Roofing. As part of their scheme, the defendants use the licenses or names of other legitimate contractors without their knowledge or consent.   Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by James Bray, Martha Ortiz or Roofing Unlimited, please contact District Attorney Investigator Michelle Avila at (408) 792-2926.   ###

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