California Contractors State License Board(CSLB) investigators went undercover at a home in South Lake Tahoe, on April 30, 2014, and arrested 11 people suspected of contracting without a license.
The sting was conducted in conjunction with a similar sting in Nevada by the Nevada Contractors State License Board(NSCB) in which eight people were arrested.
"This was a cooperative effort between both boards and works to protect consumers on both sides of the state line," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Consumers don't always check to be sure the person they're hiring has a licensed from the State, so, in an effort to protect consumers, investigators work to reduce the pool of illegal contractors."
Investigators posed as homeowners seeking bids for various projects that included exterior painting, deck work, landscaping, and other tasks requiring general “B” building contractor skills.
Those cited after giving bids in California were issued Notices to Appear in El Dorado County Superior Court’s South Lake Tahoe branch. The eight Nevada suspects are scheduled to answer charges in a Lake Tahoe, Nev., Justice Court.
All 11 suspects cited in California face misdemeanor charges of contracting without a license. Home improvement and construction jobs in California valued at $500 or more (combined labor and material costs) must be conducted by a company or person with a CSLB-issued license. Nine of the 11 were also cited on a misdemeanor charge of illegal advertising. California law requires contractors to place their license number in all print, broadcast, and online advertisements. Those without a license can advertise for jobs valued at less than $500, but the ad must state that they are not a licensed contractor.