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- City Attorney Mike Feuer secured a temporary restraining order against the owner of Eco Solar Home Improvement and other company clients.
- An asset freeze was also imposed on the company through a lawsuit, which alleges they defrauded homes with false loans and cash payments.
- The fraud scheme allegedly conned homeowners of $1.4 million in total.
City Attorney Mike Feuer announced on Monday that his office has secured a temporary restraining order and finalized an asset freeze against the owner of a solar-power company accused of orchestrating a fraud scheme that allegedly bilked Los Angeles homeowners out of more than $1.4 million.
Feuer's office filed a civil complaint and obtained an asset freeze against Nelson Solis, owner of Eco Solar Home Improvement, along with several affiliated entities and associates, last week. The lawsuit alleges 35 homeowners were defrauded though cash payments or through loans backed by assessments on their property taxes, all made in exchange for little or no work, and through misuse of the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program.
"Today's court victories are important steps as we fight to stop the unlawful practices we've alleged and strive to obtain restitution for those we allege have been harmed," Feuer said. "And I urge others to come forward if they believe they've been victimized. We want to help as many people as possible."
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Solis could not be reached for comment.
The temporary restraining prohibits the company from engaging in alleged unlawful activity, including acting as a contractor, making false and misleading claims, falsifying documents and taking or spending money associated with the PACE program, Feuer's office said.
Feuer is also seeking civil penalties and restitution for victims.
Solis and his companies, including Aleman Electric/Eco Solar Plus LLC, were named in the lawsuit along with related businesses and individuals, including Edgmont Eco Construction, Max & Son Inc., Henry Solis, Edduy Pena, Max Ramos Hernandez and Raul Amaya.
PACE is a government program that helps property owners finance energy efficiency home improvement projects, including the installation of solar panels, through loans backed by property tax assessments.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants targeted Spanish-speaking homeowners while luring them into construction contracts and PACE loans, sometimes taking out PACE loans on behalf of homeowners without their consent.
The defendants also allegedly concealed the terms and true costs of the loans, and failed to perform the work as promised.
Once the defendants received money from the PACE loans or upfront cash payments, they would abandon the projects without often having done any meaningful work, the lawsuit alleges.