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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mead builder faces criminal charge

Labor and Industries says Stephen Ranson bilked Renton homeowners out of $12K

From staff reports
Criminal charges have been filed against a Mead builder who state officials say bilked homeowners on the West Side out of more than $12,000 while acting as an unregistered contractor. Stephen P. Ranson has been charged in King County Superior Court with a single count of practicing as an unregistered contractor, a gross misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and 364 days in jail. Investigators from the Washington Department of Labor and Industries say Ranson gave homeowners an estimate on a job to extend a retaining wall in their backyards and collected a down payment of $12,015. But Ranson was not a registered contractor with the state when he gave that estimate, and the company he claimed to be working for belonged to a relative whose license was suspended with the state, according to court records. Ranson did register as a contractor with the state in September 2013, but that registation has since been revoked, according to state records. A civil lawsuit was also filed against him last week, according to state records. His business address is listed with the state at 4622 E. Woodglen Road in Mead. The Department of Labor and Industries said Ranson returned to the homeowners after several months asking for an additional $2,000 to begin construction. The homeowners refused to pay and learned Ranson was not licensed, according to a news release. They then reported Ranson to state officials. Ranson is scheduled to be arraigned in King County Superior Court on the charge today. The Department of Labor and Industries cautions homeowners not to pay large deposits up front for contracting work and to check that contractors are registered with the state before entering an agreement. The agency offers an online database to search for a worker’s employment history and registration status.
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