Lengthy Investigation Uncovers Fraudulant Contractor

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Jeff Edwards, Astoria, indicted by the on 15 felony counts that included eight counts of Forgery in the First Degree and seven counts of Identity Theft.

On Thursday, May 10, 2012, Jeffrey Allen Edwards was indicted by the Clatsop County Grand Jury on 15 felony counts that included eight counts of Forgery in the First Degree and seven counts of Identity Theft.

According to Deputy Chief of Police, Brad Johnston, the indictments are a result of a lengthy investigation into numerous complaints that the Astoria Police Department received about Mr. Edwards’ Astoria area business dealings over the past several years.

The information that was presented to the Grand Jury involved Mr. Edwards’ practice of soliciting local Astoria residents to pressure wash and/or paint their houses.  As part of his practices, Mr. Edwards would claim to be connected to and/or representing a legitimate local business to gain the trust of the victims.  To further the deception, Mr. Edwards would use the legitimate Oregon CCB license numbers of other businesses, or Mr. Edwards would create false CCB license numbers so that it would appear that he was appropriately licensed and bonded with the State of Oregon.

During the investigation, Mr. Edwards was warned that his activity was unlawful, that his illegal activity was being investigated, and that it needed to stop; but the Astoria Police Department continued to receive complaints about Mr. Edwards’ business practices.

Mr. Edwards has never been licensed with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board and does not have a business license from the City of Astoria.

The Astoria Police Department asks if you believe that you have been a victim of Mr. Edwards, and you live in the City of Astoria to contact the department at 503-325-4411 to speak to an officer.

The Astoria Police Department advises residents to be cautious when hiring people to do work on their homes or property.  Take the time to check with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board before asking for bids or entering into any agreements with a contractor.  By doing this, you will be able to verify if the contractor is actively licensed, is legal to do contracting work in Oregon, has a surety bond, has provided proof of liability insurance at the time of application, and also allows you to check on the history of the contractor.  See the Oregon Construction Contractors Board website for more information on the best practices for hiring contractors.