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CSLB Undercover Sting in Artesia

SACRAMENTO —A residential home in east Artesia, less than a half mile from the historic Artesia Water Tower served as the backdrop for an undercover sting operation conducted Thursday, November 7, 2013, by the Contractors State License Board’s (CSLB) Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT). The operation resulted in eight people receiving Notices to Appear (NTA) in court to answer a variety of misdemeanor charges.

SWIFT conducted the sting in partnership with the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation.

 

SWIFT Investigators posing as homeowners requested bids for home improvement jobs including painting, cabinets, fencing, and flooring. Six of the eight suspects were identified based on ads posted on craigslist.org.

 

Seven illegal operators were cited for contracting without a license (Business and Professions Code section 7028). All home improvement jobs valued at $500 or more (combined labor and material costs) must be conducted by a company or person with a license issued by CSLB.

 

Six of the eight also were cited for violating contractor advertising laws, that require a contractor’s license number to be included in all forms of advertising or stated that the individual is not licensed (Business and Professions Code section 7027.1).

 

One suspect who offered a $5,000 bid for kitchen repair work was cited for acting in the capacity of a salesperson without being registered with CSLB (Business and Professions Code 7153 (a)).

 

“Not only are unlicensed contractors notorious for victimizing consumers, they also undercut legitimately licensed contractors, making it difficult for them to compete,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “Since many first-time offenders could qualify for a contractor’s license, we give them application packets and offer to help them get licensed. This protects consumers and helps level the playing field for licensed contractors.”

The suspects listed below are scheduled to appear February 5, 2014, 8:30 a.m., in Los Angeles Superior Court, 10025 East Flower Street, Bellflower, CA 90706

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