When investigators with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) go undercover in search of those contracting without a license, it's no secret who they team up with and who they bust. The results of their undercover work are sent out to news agencies throughout the state for two reasons, to advise consumers of the risks and to warn those contracting without a license, enforcement action is being taken.
That said, yet another undercover sting in the month of October netted 16 people suspected of contracting without a license, including a registered sex offender and four people using someone else's license which is against the law.
"Our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members at CSLB are dedicated to protecting consumers from harm, financial and otherwise," said CLSEA President Alan Barcelona. "Some of the suspects who enter their stings have criminal backgrounds, if they don't have a license, there is likely a reason they don't and that's not someone you want to invite into your home or yard and have around your family."
On October 15-16, 2014, investigators set up shop at a home near the community of Coarsegold and called upon workers who advertised home improvement or landscaping services. Posing as homeowners, the investigators sought bids on landscaping, tree service, painting, concrete and electrical work. Bids pitched ranged from about $900 to $6,000. In California, all home improvement jobs valued at $500 or more (combined labor and material costs) must be performed by a company or person with a CSLB-issued license.
"Contractor licenses are not transferrable between anyone; associates, friends - family members included," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "A license tells the public that the person they're dealing with has put in the necessary time and training to work as a licensed, professional contractor. Consumers need to check the contractor license and ask to see a picture ID to be sure that there is no deception."
In addition to being cited for contracting without a license, some of the suspects were also cited with illegal advertising and for not having workers' compensation insurance.