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Painters Caught in CA Sting

Friday, April 26, 2013

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Painters numbered among nearly a dozen off-the-book contractors newly nabbed in an undercover sting operation in the Sacramento, CA, area.

Undercover agents from the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) rounded up 11 suspected unlicensed contractors in the operation April 20 at a “sting home” in El Dorado Hills. Four of those arrested had bid on painting work.

Unlicensed contractors

Four suspected unlicensed contractors submitted painting bids during the last week's undercover sting operation, authorities said.

“A citation for unlicensed contracting was the last birthday present one unlicensed operator expected when he submitted a bid for a painting job at an El Dorado Hills undercover sting house,” the CSLB announced in a press release.

Inviting Bids for Sting

The suspects were identified through advertisements posted in local pamphlets, on craigslist.org, and from business cards posted to bulletin boards at local businesses.

The undercover CSLB investigators then solicited bids for exterior painting, landscaping, tree removal, and fence replacement.

“Advertisements in local publications and business cards do not mean an individual is a legally licensed contractor,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “Unlicensed contractors are rarely insured and put homeowners at serious financial risk if a worker is injured on the property.”

Contractors Charged

All of the suspects face misdemeanor charges of contracting without a license. First-conviction penalties in the state include up to six months in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines; subsequent convictions bring about harsher penalties.

All but one of the contractors face additional misdemeanor charge of illegal advertising, the board said. California state law requires that contractors include their license number in all print, broadcast, and online advertisements. Those without a license can advertise as long as the ad states that they are not a state-licensed contractor, and the combined total of a project’s labor and materials costs is under $500.

In California, all home-improvement jobs totaling $500 or more in combined labor and material costs must be undertaken by a CSLB-licensed contractor.

The CSLB has an online instant license check that can be used to see if a contractor license is in “good standing.”


Tagged categories: Business operations; Contractors State License Board; Licensing; Painters; Residential contractors

Comment from john lienert, (4/26/2013, 2:52 AM)

why is "Ore-Cal" still contracting in San Leandro/Alameda?

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