A January sting at Sun City Lincoln Hills, CA, helped enforcement representatives from the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) catch 15 contractors, including eight painting contractors, allegedly operating without a license.
The CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) was acting on a tip from city of Lincoln building officials to catch one painting contractor suspected of illegally operating in Placer County. California Business & Provisions (B&P) Code requires contractors to have state licensing for home-improvement work valued at more than $500 (combined labor and material costs) and to put their license numbers in all advertisements. Those without licenses may do jobs valued at less than $500 but must state in all of their advertisements that they are not licensed.
To catch the contractor, the SWIFT team conducted an undercover operation, with investigators soliciting bids for home improvement projects. Investigators invited the contractor to submit a bid, and, when he did, he was given a notice to appear (NTA) in court for allegedly contracting without a license and alleged illegal advertising, as well as an administrative citation for alleged illegal advertising and fraudulent use of a contract license number not issued to him. CSLB stated that illegally using another person’s license number is punishable by up to $10,000 in fines.
The sting also led investigators to seven other painting contractors alleged to be working without a license and seven allegedly unlicensed contractors in other trades. In addition to the painting contractors who received an NTA or an administrative citation, contractors in flooring, cabinetry, tile laying, and landscaping received NTAs or administrative citations.
The CSLB operates under the California Department of Consumer Affairs. For further details, visit www.cslb.ca.gov.