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Solar company contractor accused of bilking about $250K from seniors

A solar company general manager is accused of bilking seniors out of about a quarter-million dollars for work they paid for and he never performed, Nevada authorities allege.

Derek Guadalupe Carbajal, 43, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center Tuesday on seven felony counts of theft and a misdemeanor, jail records show.

He was being held without bail Saturday, according to Las Vegas Justice Court records, which state he’s due for a preliminary hearing on May 16.

The criminal complaint was filed in late March, records show. The Nevada State Contractors Board announced his arrest Friday.

The board said that Carbajal, who was with the Lifetime Power solar company, had been contracting with senior homeowners over the past couple of years.

“This case is so egregious, the Nevada State Contractors Board called upon the Office of the Nevada Attorney General for prosecution,” said the board’s executive officer Margi Grein in a press release.

Additional details of the allegations were not provided.

The contractors board announced a “new specialized solar investigation unit,” which will focus on addressing complaints against solar panel companies.

“This specialized solar unit will partner with entities across Nevada to include prosecutorial agencies in an effort to provide increased consumer protections regarding solar scams, deceptive loans and aggressive sales tactics,” the release said.

The board said that such complaints had increased in recent years.

“Of greatest concern to the NSCB are the large down payments being required of homeowners prior to any work being performed, as well as unlawful and predatory sales tactics being used by both licensed and unlicensed contractors,” the release added.

“Following an investigation, homeowners may be eligible for financial recourse through the Residential Recovery Fund, which affords up to $40,000 per validated claim.”

Complaints can be filed at solar@nscb.state.nv.us.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com.

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