A married couple has been charged with 79 misdemeanor and felony counts after allegedly stealing $800,000 from customers of a Santa Clara based home renovation company, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.
Constance and William Gabriel, 50 and 65, who operated Sunrooms America Inc., are accused of tricking online clients into paying for construction work that was never completed, or never started, between 2015 and 2017.
"The victims wanted to beautify their homes, but they were taken advantage of by an ugly criminal scheme," prosecutor Cherie Bourlard said in a statement.
The two defendants were arrested on Aug. 9 in Maricopa, Arizona, where they allegedly fled after taking money from the victims. Prosecutors said they spent the money on Disneyland tickets, car payments, rent and other personal expenses.
The couple was extradited to Santa Clara County this week, according to prosecutors, who said more than 30 local customers were victims of the couple's scheme.
The Contractors State License Board revoked business licenses from three businesses associated with the Gabriels earlier this year.
The Gabriels were arraigned last week on charges including grand theft and elder fraud, which received white collar crime enhancements due to the large sum of money involved in the alleged crimes.
Their plea hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17 in Santa Clara County Superior Court. They will be assigned defense attorneys from the Santa Clara County Public Defender's Office at that time.