Unlicensed contractor pleads guilty to criminal charges in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The man police said took money to work on a woman’s house and then ghosted her in the east Las Vegas valley pleaded guilty to criminal charges, the 8 News Now Investigators have confirmed.

Alfred Martin Lagunas, 72, was able to avoid jail time by agreeing to stay out of trouble and pay restitution to the woman who said he took $8,000 or more of her life savings. He agreed to pay Barbara Ojito $1,405.04 though, which is far less than the amount of cash she said she took from her.

“I hope he pays for what he did,” Ojito told the 8 News Now Investigators in February when the state contractors board held a news conference at Ojito’s home to warn the public about unlicensed contractors.

Should he meet that ‘interim sentence,’ Las Vegas Justice Court judge Harmony Letizia said she would find Lagunas guilty and suspend a two-month-long jail sentence.

Ojito said she wanted to renovate the backyard and redo her roof so that her brother, for whom she cares for and who has severe special needs, could spend more time outdoors together. She saw Lagunas at a job site near her home and recognized him from several years prior when the two had attended the same church. However, she paid Lagunas every penny he asked for – most from the savings her parents gave her before their death – and he took all of it. However, he left the job in shambles, with – among other things – much-unfinished masonry, dead electrical wiring, and a leaking roof. When he left Ojito high and dry, he left the job substantially incomplete.

To make matters worse, she didn’t have any money to pay a new contractor to redo any of that work.

“I’m stuck right now,” Ojito said at the time.

Lagunas pleaded guilty to similar charges of working without a contractor’s license in 2014 and had to pay restitution. When the contractors board filed charges against Lagunas in 2024, he missed a court date and a justice court judge issued a bench warrant for him. That warrant was released when Lagunas was arrested on domestic violence charges on March 21.

A police report from that date said Lagunas told his wife, “I am going to choke you, [expletive]! I’m going to kick your ass.”

Lagunas is being held at the Clark County Detention Center and is expected in court next on April 9.

Original News Source Link – KLAS

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