Surprise man pleads guilty of contracting without a license

Surprise man pleads guilty of contracting without a license
(Source: wwbt/nbc12)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Wednesday, Jan. 27, 43-year-old Mason William Russell Phillips pleaded guilty to Contracting Without a License in the Glendale Municipal Court.

According to a news release, a 2019 Arizona Registrar of Contractors (AZ ROC) investigation found Russell Phillips, DBA Phillips Custom Home Design LLC, was contracted to remodel a Glendale home for $108,853.

After receiving a total of $127,791 for the project, Russell Phillips began but never finished the job and failed to pull the required building permits. The homeowner also alleged the work Russell Phillips did complete was poor and below industry workmanship standards.

Russell Phillips has never been a licensed contractor in Arizona.

He contracted for the job claiming to be “borrowing” the license number of the licensed contracting company, UMC Builders LLC (ROC 187732).  UMC Builders LLC was unaware of the use of their license.

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors says a company is either licensed or they are not. License numbers cannot be “borrowed” and a company cannot claim to be working under another company’s license.

Individuals must also be employees of a contractor to be working under their license, which means among other things, the company is in compliance with workers’ compensation and tax laws.

A sentencing and restitution hearing is scheduled for March 1, 2021, in the Glendale Municipal Court.

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