Home Building Fraud Case Leads to Santa Cruz Woman's Arrest

Investigation leads to arrest of Sandra Nora Greenwell, who formed Los Gatos Group LLC.

A Santa Cruz County woman faces a series of felony and misdemeanor charges after a lengthy investigation by the Contractors State License Board revealed fraudulent activity in a Los Gatos business she had created that enlisted investors in a $3.2 million home project.

Someone by the name of "presto r" posted a complaint against Sandra Nora Greenwell on Complaints Board, a consumer complaints website.

"If this lady ever approaches you for a project, RUN!!! This woman has no development skills, she doesn't pay contractors, and most of all she is a big fraud. She will take your money and you wouldn't know what hit you. BEWARE!!! She will spend your money before you even know where it went. RUN!!!" wrote "presto r".

The CSLB investigation found that in December 2010, Greenwell and her son formed Los Gatos Group LLC to build a residential home in Los Gatos. She then enlisted a number of investors to provide financial backing for the project, valued at $3.2 million, the release stated.

“It’s important to note that cases like this are the exception rather than the rule when it comes to the character of people in the construction industry,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “This complex investigation is another example of the lengths some unscrupulous people will go to in order to take advantage of consumers.”

Investigators found that Greenwell used her position to divert at least $46,500 in investors’ money into the bank account of another company she ran, Eagle Consulting Team, authorities said. Eagle Consulting Team is listed on Elance—a website for freelancers to post portfolios and work history—as a start-up services specialist that provides such services as website creation, business plans and lead generation.

The website associated with the company, www.eagleconsultingteam.com, does not appear to be active.

The investigation also determined that Greenwell hired licensed and unlicensed contractors to work on the residence, and illegally used a licensed contractor’s number to pull a building permit for the project, the release added.

Greenwell is facing felony fraudulent use of a contractor’s license number, felony theft, felony grand theft and misdemeanor diversion of funds and misdemeanor contracting without a license charges, according to the CSLB.

Authorities arrested Greenwell, 56, Feb. 8 in Boulder Creek after a $100,000 warrant was issued in Santa Clara County, the Contractors State License Board said in a press release.

The CSLB operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs

Greenwell’s next court date is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. March 21 in the Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose.


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