SALEM, Ore. - (Updating to add CCB will turn over information to Oregon DOJ for possible criminal investigation)
The Oregon Construction Contractors Board said Wednesday it has levied more than $80,000 in fines against a phony Bend-based home inspector who performed dozens of inspections in Central and Eastern Oregon in recent months.
Gregory Mason Miller of Bend used a license number belonging to a legitimate construction contractor with the same first and last name, along with the name of an unrelated Bend business. In advertising, he claimed to be licensed, bonded and insured, the agency said.
Home inspectors must be certified by the Construction Contractors Board after passing a national exam. Additionally, a home inspection business must hold a CCB-issued contractor license. Miller was neither certified nor licensed, according to the agency.
"He was doing significant business without offering any of the consumer protections that come with licensing, including a bond and CCB record that would alert potential clients to any history of problems," Enforcement Manager Stan Jessup said.
Jessup told NewsChannel 21 21 Miller had tried to take the home inspectors' class several times, but never completed it.
The CCB added Miller to its new Buyer Beware list that warns the public of chronic offenders. People who make the list generally are phony or predatory contractors who take money and produce little or no work or who repeatedly violate state contracting laws.
"The goal is to make sure he doesn't do any more home inspections without obtaining the proper licensing," Jessup said. "And it's a reminder to the public that people will lie -- and do so convincingly - about who they are and their credentials."
Consumer complaints triggered the CCB investigation, which officials said is still ongoing.
The CCB official also told NewsChannel 21 they will hand over their findings to the state Department of Justice, which could pursue a criminal investigation.
The CCB licenses construction contracting businesses, including home inspection businesses and home inspectors. Most any business seeking work on a new home or home improvement project needs a license.
Contractors must include their CCB license number on any advertising so you can verify their license. To do so, visit www.oregon.gov/ccb and enter a license number or name in the orange "Search" feature. Verify that the license is "active" and that the full name on the license matches the contractor in question.
In this case, Gregory Mason Miller did not show up in a search with any home inspector credentials. You can call 503-378-4621 for help searching or understanding the results.
Contractors and consumers can report unlicensed contractors and other illegal activity on the CCB's website or by calling 503-934-2246.
Licensed contractors carry bonds and insurance and can be held accountable if something goes wrong, the agency noted, and only licensed contractors can get required building permits.
The CCB is the state agency licensing more than 36,000 contractors. Anyone who is paid to repair, improve, inspect or build a home must be licensed. Learn how to have a successful project at www.oregon.gov/ccb.