Contractor sentenced to jail for swindling clients in Pierce, King counties

An unregistered contractor who swindled eight homeowners in Pierce and King counties has been sentenced to 30 days in jail, according to the state Department of Labor & Industries.

Gary Edwards, 44, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft and two counts of unregistered contracting. A judge ordered him to pay $51,659 in restitution to his victims.

L&I’s investigation found Edwards pocketed money for contracting jobs he never completed in Tacoma, Kent, Renton, Seattle and Sammamish. He accepted the projects through his business, Longevity Construction, which was not licensed as required by law.

In one of the Tacoma cases, Edwards helped a client choose cabinets in April 2013 and cashed the client’s check for $4,500 but never ordered the cabinets.

This is not the first time Edwards has been in trouble. He faces extradition to Ohio in an unrelated theft case and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in King County in 1987, according to court records.