Penny Estes, Fire Victim Scammer, Pleads Guilty

Now facing a maximum sentence of 36.6 years in state prison, Penny Estes pleaded guilty last week to 28 felony counts in connection with defrauding victims whose houses burned down in the Jesusita and Tea fires. Estes, the CEO of Green Building America, entered into contracts with her victims, promising to rebuild their homes but then pocketing nearly $1.37 million that she spent on “shopping excursions, airfare, expensive dinners, hotels, travel and other extravagances,” said DA Joyce Dudley. Estes also pled guilty to three felony counts for defrauding an elderly victim from Riverside County, and prosecutors believe she used the stolen money from that operation to fund her illegal Santa Barbara activities. Estes will be sentenced 11/26.

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