SALINAS – During the last week of May 2019, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), the Monterey County District Attorney's Office and the California Department of Insurance (CDI) conducted an undercover sting to identify and cite unlicensed contractors.
The sting took place in a single-family home in Salinas and involved investigators posing as homeowners looking for help with home improvement projects. Bids ranged from $1,000 for general contracting work to the nearly $31,000 for tile flooring.
In all, 19 suspected unlicensed contractors were caught and could now face a misdemeanor criminal charge of contracting without a license. First-conviction penalties include up to six months in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
One of the suspects, Guisueppe Joseph Davi, was not only cited for two contracting-related violations, he also was arrested and taken to jail with an active warrant for Driving Under the Influence.
“Thank you to the enforcement representatives and investigators who routinely conduct these undercover operations to protect unsuspecting homeowners from financial harm and headache,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “In addition, they are protecting legitimate contractors who have taken the steps to become, and follow the rules of licensed contractors.”
"Just because someone is asking for tens of thousands of dollars to do a job, doesn't mean they have the skills, expertise, or insurance required to get the project done right," said CSLB Registrar David Fogt. "It's one of the reasons we always remind homeowners to get at least three bids and make sure the person they hire is licensed."
Consumers can check out a contractor by running an "Instant License Check" on CSLB's website. They can also get a list of licensed contractors in their area by using the "Find My Licensed Contractor" feature to search by city or ZIP code.