Crime - Sacto 911

'Sweetheart Swindler' from Elk Grove caught up in statewide sting

Fourteen undercover stings conducted around the state this week resulted in 94 people facing misdemeanor charges for contracting without a license, including one Elk Grove woman known as the “Sweetheart Swindler.”

Investigators posed as homeowners seeking bids for home improvements such as painting, electrical, decking, landscaping, flooring and tree removal.

One of those caught up in the sting was Samantha Pham of Elk Grove, according to a press release from the Contractors State License Board. Pham is on probation after pleading guilty to swindling an elderly man out of a car, $200,000 and his Bay area home in what prosecutors termed a sweetheart scam.

She was arrested for contracting without a license through a Rocklin business called Bella’s Kitchen & Bath.