OROVILLE — The owner of Aurora Ridge LLC has been arrested and charged with one count of contracting without a license in a declared disaster area (camp fire), according to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
Jay Soderling, 63, of Aurora Ridge LLC was the subject of a number of citizen complaints and appeared in Butte County Superior Court on September 1, 2022 to hear charges of abusive contracting in the area of Paradise.
Soderling was charged with one count of subcontracting without a permit in a declared disaster area. He was also charged with misdemeanors of false advertising and charging statutory $1,000 for a deposit.
Ramsey said the California Contractors State License Board initially investigated Soderling and his company after a number of complaints were filed against the company over homes they had contracted to build. After reviewing the matter, the Contractor Board administratively revoked Aurora Ridge LLC’s license in January 2021.
However, a site visit by a council investigator on November 22, 2021 reportedly found Aurora Ridge employees were continuing to build a Paradise home.
The prosecutor’s office said conversations with the owner alleged that Soderling and his company continued to act as a contractor even after losing their license. It was also alleged that Soderling demanded deposits above the legal amount and advertised his business after losing the contractor’s license.
Ramsey said Soderling has previously had run-ins with the law, including convictions in federal court for various charges including misuse of funds, overvaluation of property, criminal contempt, conspiracy to defraud states States and tax evasion. Following his convictions, Soderling served various stints in federal prison, including a 3-year sentence in 2015. In addition, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, fees, and restitution were ordered against Soderling. for his criminal convictions.
Soderling appeared with his attorney and requested a new court date of October 27, when he is expected to enter his plea. Soderling was ordered not to provide contractual services for the duration of the case.
Ramsey said his office had been following the contractors’ council’s administrative actions on Soderling for some time, but the November action was the first criminal action that could be taken.