Marc Demasters, 38, was arrested on Nov. 29, following a months-long investigation by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives received several reports of fraud as far back as August 2018 regarding well pump services in various areas within Eastern Madera County, and subsequently identified the company involved as DeMasters Pump.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, detectives confirmed that DeMasters was operating DeMasters Pump without a valid contractor’s license.
DeMasters admitted to installing used replacement parts on several occasions, despite charging for and certifying new parts, and fraudulently endorsed the installation of new parts to his customers who did not discover the discrepancies until a later date, says the Sheriff’s Office.
Following his Nov. 29 arrest, DeMasters was released when charges were not filed in a timely manner, but was rearrested on Dec. 17. He was held on a $100,000 bond at the Madera County Department of Corrections for multiple felony counts of embezzlement of an elder by a non-caretaker, felony grand theft, and several counts of misdemeanor contracting without a license.
In court this morning, DeMasters’s attorney asked the judge to release his client on his own recognizance, and Judge Dale Blea agreed that DeMasters did not posed a significant risk to the safety of the public.
DeMasters was released and ordered to return to court on Jan. 29. He and his attorney are considering a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he would plead guilty to three of the six charges.
The case has been referred to the Probation Department for their recommendation on sentencing. DeMasters was ordered not to leave the county and not to have any contact with his alleged victims.
The investigation remains ongoing. As of Dec. 21., there were five known victims in this case, according to the Sheriff’s Office, all of whom are over the age of 62, and one is 82 years old. The estimated total losses are over $19,000.
If you or someone you know believe you may be a victim relating to this case, please contact the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770.