Sunday, 14 July 2024

90 alleged unlicensed contractors face legal action following statewide sting operations and sweeps

The Contractors State License Board, or CSLB, recently completed a statewide sting and sweep enforcement operation to uncover unlicensed activity in the construction industry.

The multi-state agency effort organized by the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies, or NASCLA, resulted in 90 legal actions related to unlicensed contracting.

An additional 37 legal actions were taken for workers’ compensation insurance violations.

Over three weeks, CSLB joined forces with local law enforcement to conduct undercover sting operations in Sonoma, Sacramento, Madera and San Bernardino counties.

The stings targeted unlicensed contractors, with investigators contacting the suspects through their advertisements.

During the four sting operations, suspected unlicensed operators arrived at designated locations to bid on various projects, such as drywall, bathroom remodeling, turf installation, framing, flooring, exterior and interior painting, concrete, tree removal, landscaping, and plumbing.

As a result, 50 individuals may face criminal charges for contracting without a license. These individuals were provided with information on how to obtain a license.

The individuals involved submitted bids that exceeded the legal limit of $500. California law prohibits unlicensed contractors from bidding and/or contracting for construction work that exceeds $500 in value, including labor and materials.

All may now face legal consequences, which can include substantial fines and potential jail time.

Such activity puts consumers at risk in many ways, including failure to meet minimum competency requirements, lack of a license bond, or workers' compensation insurance.

A total of 66 construction sweep operations were conducted in various California counties, including Sacramento, San Diego, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Fresno, Monterey, Solano, Yolo, Orange, Fresno, Riverside, Butte, Alameda, Placer, Santa Clara, Marin, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Amador, and Santa Cruz.

Forty unlicensed contractors were identified during the sweeps and now face an administrative citation or referral to a local prosecutor for contracting without a license.

Additionally, 37 stop orders were issued to halt employee labor at active job sites where contractors did not have workers' compensation insurance for their employees.

“Unlicensed contractors pose a significant danger to consumers," said CSLB Registrar David Fogt. “CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team performs sweeps and stings regularly, and we are proud to be a top contributor in this year’s NASCLA’s coordinated enforcement effort.”

CSLB will continue to partner with agencies throughout the state to combat unlicensed contracting activities.

These joint efforts will focus on enforcing contractors license law, safeguarding consumer interests, and maintaining the construction industry's integrity.

For further information or to report suspected unlicensed contractor activities, please visit the CSLB website at www.cslb.ca.gov or contact CSLB toll-free at 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).

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