SACRAMENTO- California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) investigators cited 26 individuals suspected of contracting without a license during undercover stings set up in Los Angeles County May 25, 2016, and in Madera County May 26-26, 2016.
"These are individuals who have not gone through a state background check, or maybe they have and didn't pass," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Licensed contractors have passed a background check as well as exams."
In the Los Angeles County community of Lawndale, investigators cited nine suspected unlicensed contractors who placed bids on home improvement projects. Two of the nine cited are registered sex offenders.
In the Madera County, investigators set up their undercover sting at a home in rural Madera Ranchos and cited 17 people in two days. One of the suspected unlicensed contractors had a handgun with him when he arrived.
“Unlicensed contractors are basically saying they don’t have to follow the same rules as everyone else,” said CSLB Registrar Cindi Christenson. “That’s not fair to consumers who have little protection if the job is botched, or to licensed contractors who find it tough to compete with people who operate without a bond or insurance, and pay no license fees.”
CSLB regularly stages sting operations throughout the state to crack down on unlicensed contracting, which feeds a multi-billion-dollar underground economy in California, endangers the public, and creates unfair business competition for licensed, law-abiding contractors.
First-conviction penalties for contracting without a license include up to six months in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines. Penalties are more severe with each successive violation.