Eleven people seeking home improvement jobs at a house in El Dorado Hills were taken by surprise Saturday, April 20, 2013, when they came face to face with undercover investigators on the prowl for unlicensed contractors.
"Our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who are investigators with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) conduct these stings on a weekly basis, up and down the state, and publicize the citations and the penalties for contracting without a license," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "And still, every week, there's at least a dozen people busted."
A contractor with a state license is checked out by the CSLB which is an important part of consumer protection. Someone contracting work without a state license is someone who can underbid legitimate contractors, often skips out on insurance and puts property owners at financial risk.
The 11 people cited for unlicensed contracting face up to six months in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines. Repeat offenders face harsher penalties. Ten of the 11 also face an additional charge of illegal advertising. State law requires contractors to include their license number in their ads for work. Those without a license must state in their ads that they are not a state-licensed contractor and the combined total cost of a project ( labor and materials) must be under $500.