Our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) started the new year with their tried-and-true method of catching and cuffing unlicensed contractors. Two undercover stings in two weeks resulted in 24 suspects cited.
On January 8 and 9, 2014, the CSLB Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) cited 18 illegal contracting suspects during an undercover sting at a residence in Culver City. The phony contractors placed bids on concrete, plumbing, ceramic tile and painting projects.
On January 16, 2014, investigators set up shop in the rural area of Auberry in Fresno County. Investigators cited six suspects after the suspects placed bids on projects involving painting, plumbing, deck work and tree trimming.
"Tracking down and citing these individuals who work without a state contractor's license is vital to protecting consumers," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "Unlicensed contractors are unlicensed for a reason. They typically cut corners, ask for excessive down payments, some have criminal records. Property owners have little recourse if the work is shoddy, not finished, or a worker gets hurt."
CSLB encourages consumers to always "Check The License First" by visiting www.cslb.ca.gov or calling CSLB's toll-free automated line 800-321-CSLB (2757). CSLB's SWIFT conducts undercover stings on a routine basis using a list of suspected unlicensed operators compiled from the online bulletin board craigslist and local advertisements.