Corrupt Contractors: Mobile Home Invasions

by RB Roberts


According to the, Today, 8% of the American population lives in mobile homes.  When we consider that as of late, the United States Census Bureau has our population at just above 315,000,000[1], then we’re roughly talking about numbers of people in excess of 25,000,000!

Although it would be a pip to research how many of these are owned as opposed to rented, perhaps, what’s most important is the fact that millions of our citizens actually are residents of so-called “manufactured homes.

Since these residents are also citizens, then their rights and privileges are as equal as other neighbors owning or renting stationary homes.  Even more, in this scenario, victimization by corrupt contractors remains as wanton as ever.

One case in mind occurred earlier this year in Sonoma County, California.  Really, the “one case” in this scenario pertains to prosecution of a residential contractor who “crossed over to the dark side.”  Our lucky guy happened to be Mr. TJ Silva He’d “won” the grand prize of one year in the county slammer (topped with five years probation) for ripping off elderly mobile home residents.2

According to sources3, Mr. Silva targeted fifteen different senior citizens at California’s Leisure Lake Mobile Home Village. Reportedly, he collected several hundred to several thousand dollars from the unsuspecting local seniors.  For What?  For what turned, out to be maintenance projects he either didn’t start or didn’t finish.

This is ironic, considering the fact that in this day and age our access to information about people is practically unlimited. A few quick clicks on the Internet could have revealed the fact to any and all of these victims that Mr. Silva was not to be trusted.

Today, we can learn almost everything we need to know about practically anyone, almost at will. Truth be told, according to the U.S. News and World Report4 70 percent of seniors use the Internet on a typical day. Yet, in spite of this statistic, these 15 different elders were still ripped off for hundreds and thousands of dollars by a guy who had no business being in business.

Nevertheless, we can still do our part to help to reduce the rate of victimization of our senior citizens by:

  • Being aware of any contractor activity in your neighborhood and especially at the homes of senior citizens.
  • Make note the names of the companies performing services at senior’s homes if visible.
  • If you are aware a senior is considering hiring a contractor, offer to check public records for your elderly neighbors, such as the Better Business Bureau, your local Home Builders’ Association (or equivalent trades organizations), the Attorney General’s Office, or your Office of Secretary of the State.
  • Check the American Home Improvement Zone’s Directory of National Residential Contractor Licensing5 which is updated daily updated and allows you to connect to your appropriate government offices to check the status of contract firms and individual contractors.

If you feel a crime is being committed, please contact your local police department and report any and all suspicious behavior.  Never attempt to take a situation into your own hands by confronting suspected offenders.


RB Roberts is a home projects consultant with HGRBServices whom, through this national network, addresses the need for consumer awareness and protection against home improvement fraud in America. This year (2012) marks the network’s first attempt at a national tour conducting community workshops and speaking engagements against home improvement fraud in all 50 states. For general info on how HGRB Services can be of assistance to you, please, feel free to inquire: Special Concerns Unit

[1] US and World Population Clocks (September 2012)

2County of Sonoma, California, Unlicensed Mobile Home Contractor Sentenced (April 2012)

3Petaluma 360.Com, Argus-Courier, Unlicensed Contractor Sentenced to Jail for Defrauding Elders (April 2012)

4US News and World Report, Money, Must-Have Gadgets for Retirees (July 2012)