On December 6th, 2012

Undercover Stings Take On Underground Economy

Their track record is impressive.   As we pointed out last month, there is no shortage of work for our CSLEA members who are investigators with the  Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and they are not letting the holidays get in the way of their non-stop battle against the underground economy. 

In their latest undercover sting to protect consumers and put a stop to unlicensed contractors, investigators went undercover in Camarillo and arrested 12 people.

"With the economy the way it is and has been for so long, there are  people willing to conduct business 'under the table,'" said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona.  "They pay their workers with cash and by doing so they skip out on taxes and insurance.  It hurts contractors doing business the legal way, it hurts workers who might be injured on the job, and it hurts consumers who have little recourse when the work is not completed or done right or if a worker gets hurt on their property."

The investigators set up shop on a commercial property and called people who had posted ads for painting, floor covering, concrete work and tree services.  Anyone  who bid more than $500 dollars for the job and could not produce a contractor's license, was arrested. 

The arrests in Camarillo are just the latest in a two month operation that has resulted in the arrests of more than 100 people.

"The CSLB is one of the most proactive regulatory agencies in the state," said California Association of Regulatory Investigators & Inspectors (CARII) President Tom Ineichen.  "Investigators are stepping in before consumers fall victim and lose money due to an unlicensed contractor.  I'm very proud of our CARII investigators who work for the CSLB."

According to the CSLB, the CSLB licenses and regulates 300,000 contractors and last fiscal year, helped recover nearly $36 million in ordered restitution for consumers.

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