Unlicensed Camp Fire Contractor Charged with Felony

The Butte County District Attorney says an unlicensed contractor is charged with a felony after targeting a Camp Fire survivor.

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 2:09 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 3:02 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - The Butte County District Attorney said 37-year-old Kristofer Chivrell of Paradise, was charged in Butte County Superior Court Wednesday after it was alleged he held himself out as a contractor and entered into a contract with a Camp Fire survivor to rebuild a destroyed Paradise cottage.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey says Kristofer Chivrell was arrested by Paradise Police on September 15, 2019. Ramsey said evidence gathered by the police showed Chivrell had been acting as a contractor without a license.

A Camp Fire survivor had sought a contractor to rebuild a one-bedroom, one-bathroom, cottage which was destroyed in the Camp Fire behind his residence.

Ramsey said the victim was introduced to Chivrell earlier this year. Ramsey says Chivrell claimed to be a licensed contractor and the pair entered into a $20,000 contract for the work to be completed with the victim giving Chivrell $5,000 to start work.

Within 48 hours of entering into the contract, the victim learned from a family friend that Chivrell was unqualified.

Ramsey explained that contracting without a license is generally a misdemeanor, however, contracting without a license in a declared disaster area is a felony. The District Attorney's Office encourages those who are considering rebuilding to confirm with the California State License Board that contractors are properly licensed. 

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Ramsey said that unlicensed contractors taking advantage of Camp Fire survivors are a special focus of his office and will be vigorously prosecuted.

Chivrell is currently in custody pending $15,000 bail and will be arraigned on the felony charge in Butte County Superior Court at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

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