A Vancouver man was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days on a work crew for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from local construction companies and clients.
Travis W. Saban, 48, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to two counts of first-degree theft and two counts of second-degree theft. Three additional counts of second-degree theft were dismissed as a part of a plea agreement.
Deputy Prosecutor Brian Pruett said the victims were in agreement with the stipulated sentencing recommendation because their main concern was ensuring Saban paid them back. Pruett said the work crew sentence allows for that.
A restitution report filed last week shows Saban owes nearly $90,000 in total restitution to five different victims.
Defense attorney Megan Peyton said Saban has already paid back between $15,000 and $20,000. Peyton also said Saban has since received treatment for a gambling addiction.
On Dec. 13, 2018, Scott Aldinger, owner of Precision Construction Services Inc., contacted the Vancouver Police Department to report that Saban, an employee and project manager, had been stealing from the company and many other people in Clark County’s construction industry, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Saban placed an order Nov. 15, 2018, for more than $3,500 worth of building supplies at Parr Lumber in Ridgefield on Precision Construction Services’ account. However, the supplies charged were for a job being run by another company. The supplies were delivered to Richard and Kelli Nye’s residence for their project, but the Parr Lumber invoice was never paid, so the company took a loss, the affidavit states.
Police then received a report Dec. 14, 2018, from David “Tyson” Brack who said Saban agreed to remodel his bathroom and kitchen. Saban sent him diagrams in September 2018, he said, which showed an estimated cost of $21,000 for the project. Brack paid Saban and then made multiple attempts to contact him, but he never responded, court records say.
None of the money paid to Saban was used for the remodeling project or supplies. Instead, Saban deposited all of the checks into his OnPoint Community Credit Union account, according to court documents.
Then, on Jan. 7, 2019, Patrick Kiely, owner of Red Dog Fabrication, and Mark Dunkle, the company’s project manager, told police Saban asked them to fabricate building supplies for the Nye job. Saban charged the fabricated items to Precision Construction Services’ account. The cost was $1,100, and Red Dog Fabrication took a loss, the affidavit says.
Aldinger, owner of Precision Construction Services, told police Jan. 19, 2019, that Saban had also borrowed money from him and other contractors while working for his company. He said Saban asked for multiple loans to deal with child custody issues, according to court records.
Several of the people who loaned Saban money said in court records he told them he needed the money for legal fees while he worked to get more visitation time with his son. Saban agreed to pay all of them back, even signing contracts for two of the loans, but he never made good on his promise, the affidavit says.
In January 2019, detectives received information that Saban was an avid gambler. They contacted the Washington State Gambling Commission and learned that over the past three years, Saban had taken more than a $160,000 loss from The Last Frontier Casino and The Palace Casino in La Center. He also had taken a more than $50,000 loss at the Lucky 21 Casino in Woodland, according to court documents.
Saban initially denied having a gambling problem, but when confronted with his bank account history, he admitted that he took a loss of more than a couple hundred thousand dollars. He said he used the money from the loans and jobs to pay it off. He thought he could win to pay people back, he said, but never did, court records state.