LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The Las Vegas contractor now facing five felony charges for scamming homeowners – mostly seniors – out of over a quarter-million dollars ruined the home of a U.S. Army veteran who lost $65,000 to the man, the 8 News Now Investigators have learned.

Adrian Pitts, the veteran, said he gave Gabriel Adame, the contractor, the entire amount as an upfront deposit and Adame left his house in shambles.

“I have no more money to do the repairs in my house,” Pitts said, saying he gave Adame most of his savings. “I’ve been living with no kitchen stove because I have no gas line. I have to wash my dishes in the sink – in my bathroom sink — because my kitchen sink doesn’t work because of him. My house is just a wreck. I’ve been living like this for three years.”

Pitts was at a news conference Thursday announcing Adame’s arrest, which the 8 News Now Investigators were first to report on Wednesday.

The state contractors board spokesman said Adame, 50, would take large deposits – as much as $90,000 in at least one case – as down payments and never begin work.

The board revoked Adame’s contractor’s license in January after finding him guilty of multiple violations related to 21 consumer complaints, the spokesman said.

Nevada law now only allows a 10% or $1,000 down payment for contractors, the spokesman, Randy Escamilla told the 8 News Now Investigators.

Escamilla said the board encourages homeowners to solicit at least three bids on any work they plan to perform at their home. Any licensed contractor will be listed, with a record of any disciplinary history, by clicking here.

Public record shows the theft charges were initially filed in Las Vegas Justice Court on June 7 and that the court found probable cause to proceed with the case on June 13. If convicted of all counts, Adame could face up to 85 years in prison, according to a press release from the contractor’s board.

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