FREMONT – When ten men arrived, individually, at a home in need of repairs in Fremont June 17, 2014, they held hopes of obtaining a job, instead, they were greeted by Contractors State License Board (CSLB) undercover investigators who busted them for contracting without a license.
The investigators posed as homeowners and asked potential workers to bid on exterior painting, fencing and concrete projects. Bids ranged from $1,500 for redwood fencing to a $75,000 bid to fill in and cover an in-ground swimming pool.
The ten suspected unlicensed contractors arrived from as far away as Fairfield (65 miles), Stockton (61 miles), and Antioch (55 miles).
"These unlicensed contractors put homeowners risk, they put anyone they bring to work on the project at risk and they often bid lower than licensed contractors, essentially keeping the law-abiding contractors from getting work," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) which represents CSLB investigators. "CSLB investigators conduct these stings statewide, year-round, publicize the arrests, and still they have unlicensed contractors showing up to make bids."
All 10 suspects were cited for contracting without a licens. In California, all home improvement jobs valued at $500 or more (combined labor and material costs) must be conducted by a company or person with a CSLB-issued license.
Each faces an additional misdemeanor charge of illegal. State law requires contractors to place their license number on 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.
Jesus A. Valdez Galindo
Rafael Arturo Salinas
Johnathan David Whiles
Mauro Maravilla Barajas
Fernando Bernardo Mendez
Jack Davis Toki
Reynaldo Moctezuma Avalos