The state attorney general took an unlicensed contractor to court, and now homeowners stand a chance at getting some of their money back.

Court documents say between 2011 and 2015, Christopher Vaenuku agreed to do work on several homes and properties around Oahu, but the state says he didn’t have the proper licensing.

After a lengthy process that spanned several years, the attorney general’s office took on the case.

“Our office was able to accept an investigation that was started by the DCCA (Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs) Regulated Industries (Complaints Office) investigators, and we were able to take that and turn it into prosecution that resulted in Mr. Vaenuku being convicted of felonies just a few weeks ago,” said Attorney General Doug Chin.

Judge Glenn Kim sentenced Vaenuku to four years probation, and ordered him to pay restitution to nine homeowners with amounts ranging from $900 to as much as $9,100.

In all, Vaenuku is expected to pay back more than $45,000.

The judge also mandated Vaenuku work full-time or attend educational or vocational training.

“Does this also point to the fact that (homeowners) should report these things? They should take the time to don’t just give up?” asked KHON2.

“Absolutely, and I think a lot of times, especially when people are elderly, there’s a little bit of embarrassment about wanting to come forward and report something like that, as if they did something wrong. They did nothing wrong,” said Chin.

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