April 15-16, 2015 were busy days for the Contractors State License Board's (CSLB) Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT). SWIFT investigators set up a sting in both Union City and Eureka to weed out unlicensed contractors placing bids on home improvement jobs totaling $500 or more in combined labor and material costs.
It's estimated that 20 percent of home improvement projects in California are performed illegally by unlicensed contractors who ignore state contracting laws and local building permits, undercutting legitimate contractors and putting unsuspecting consumers at risk.
On April 15th, in Union City, investigators cited seven people for contracting without a license after they submitted bids on home improvement projects at a duplex.
And on April 16th, In Eureka, investigators cited eight people for illegal contracting after they submitted bids on painting, landscaping and fence work at a home that was built in the 1950's.
"Illegal contractors put homeowners at risk," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). "They haven't gone through background checks or demonstrated their knowledge of the work consumers are hiring them to do. You don't know what you're getting, including convicted criminals, when you hire an unlicensed contractor. Thinning out the number illegal contractors helps to protect unsuspecting homeowners and their families."