RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) -- The Nevada State Contractors Board is issuing a strong warning to residents, especially senior citizens, as well as landscape and paver contractors in and around the Reno/Sparks areas regarding illegal contracting scams being conducted frequently by Lucas Hunter Schopper.
Schopper, who claims to own a company called “Diamond Pavers,” falsely uses licensed contractors’ license numbers to perform work related to landscaping, concrete and masonry.
“The Contractors Board is encouraging every member of the public, especially seniors, to memorize Mr. Schopper’s photo and to avoid business with him at all costs,” advised NSCB Executive Officer Margi A. Grein. “Unscrupulous individuals like him are the reason we advocate so passionately for the protection of the public. We ask for the public’s vigilance in verifying their contractors are properly licensed, but most importantly immediately reporting any unlicensed activity to the Board or local authorities to provide the best opportunity to take Mr. Schopper and those of his kind off our streets.”
He claims the companies affiliated with the valid license numbers are divisions of Diamond Pavers, which they are not.
According to the board, Schopper posts and publishes flyers around town, which claim to offer significant discounts to those willing to pay him immediately upon bidding the work. He consistently uses the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org as well as the phone number 775-378-3588.
Schopper was arrested Sept. 18 on a warrant for contracting without a license and diversion of funds – both felonies – as well as for false use of a license – a gross misdemeanor - from the Sparks Justice Court. He has since posted bail, which was set at $5,000, and has been released back into the community.
Schopper’s scheme is devious and targets unsuspecting homeowners by presenting himself as a licensed contractor. His most recent victim paid Schopper over $24,000; however, substandard workmanship led the victim to pay an additional out-of-pocket cost of $25,000 to repair and finalize the poor work he performed. His victims have paid as much as 50 percent up front with little or no work performed.
The board issued Schopper a C-10 landscape contracting license in Oct. 2007 under the business name “Bella Terra Professional Landscaping Services;” however, the board revoked his license in 2009 after finding him guilty of abandoning a construction project, failing to comply with the board’s orders, receiving money and not performing commensurate work, acting beyond the scope of his license, committing a fraudulent or deceitful act, performing work that was not current with industry standards and failure to establish financial responsibility, among other violations.
Schopper plead guilty to contracting without a license and/or submitting a construction bid without a license in 2010, 2012 and 2015. Two of the three cases resulted in a suspended jail sentence of ten days, however, each case included an order to pay fines and costs; restitution of $711 was ordered in the 2015 sentencing. Schopper was arrested in February 2018 on four contractor law violations. Those charges are still pending.
NSCB is urging anyone who feels they may have been scammed by Schopper or who have information on his whereabouts to contact the NSCB Unlicensed Contractor Hotline: (775) 850-7838 as soon as possible.
The Board encourages anyone looking to have work performed on their home to always verify a contractor’s license number on the Board’s website or contact the Board directly at (775) 688-1141 before signing a contract. Homeowners who hire licensed contractors receive the Board’s full protections should something go wrong during the course of a project, and may be eligible for the Board’s Residential Recovery Fund, which may award up to $35,000 in financial recourse to damaged homeowners.