On May 1, it was Kern County. On May 7, it was Los Angeles County. Our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who make up the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) nailed 23 suspects contracting without a license.
"You don't want these types of individuals working in, on or around your house," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "Many of them have shady stories, some of them have warrants out for their arrest, they put the homeowner at financial risk and aren't being fair to legitimate, licensed contractors."
Investigators set up shop in undercover stings on a weekly basis. On May 1, they asked for bids for painting, concrete, tree trimming, and fencing at a home in Ridgecrest. SWIFT investigators arrested 15 people who acted as if they were licensed contractors. Ten suspects face additional charges of illegal advertising and 13 were cited for operating without workers’ compensation insurance. Three of those cited were repeat offenders.
On May 7, Investigators sought bids in the southern Los Angeles County area of Rolling Hills Estates. They arrested eight people, including two repeat offenders. Tomas Nieto Mondragon, 63, of Los Angeles, was cited just last month during a CSLB sweep at an active construction site. Jose M. Araya Cardenas, 49, of Hawthorne was cited in 2012 in a similar sweep.
It only takes a few seconds to check a contractor license on CSLB’s website, CHECK IT OUT.