Man allegedly bilks $13,500 from 87-year-old

Unlicensed contractor never completed yard work he promised
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A Roseville man is behind bars after allegedly bilking an 87-year-old Auburn woman out of $13,500. Leron Anthony Stephenson, 30, was arrested on charges of elder abuse, operating without a contractor’s license, grand theft and burglary after Placer County Sheriff’s investigators were tipped off by his alleged victim’s bank, according to Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin. Stephenson allegedly cashed six checks totaling $13,500 from the Auburn woman’s account. The woman’s bank contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report the possibly suspicious activity, Erwin said. When deputies contacted the victim, she told them she had given Stephenson four blank checks to be cashed at $500 apiece so he would remove trees from her property. The victim told deputies she didn’t know where Stephenson found the additional two checks and said that the yard work was never completed. The victim told authorities that Stephenson had been friendly to her. He gave her pictures of his family and bought her a plant, according to Erwin. Deputies found Stephenson Wednesday working on a property next door to the victim’s. Stephenson reportedly told law enforcement officers that he did not have a contractor’s license. He was booked into Placer County Jail and remained there Friday on a parole hold. Stephenson has yet to reveal to deputies what he did with the victim’s money, Erwin said. “Senior citizens are urged to verify whether someone offering to do work around their homes has a contractor’s license,” Erwin said. Residents are also encouraged to check with a trusted family member or friend. ~ Staff report