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CA Contractor Sting Nets Painters

Thursday, October 30, 2014

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A sting operation in California has nabbed 10 suspected unlicensed contractors, including five painters.

A home in Simi Valley was the setting for the sting held Oct. 15-16, when investigators from the Contractors State License Board posed as owners in need of trade work.


One unlicensed contractor was also charged with drug possession after he was found with marijuana, methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia.

The Simi Valley Police Department assisted in the operation.

The contractors invited to the home had advertised on craigslist.org and had been referred to the investigators as potential illegal operators.

Bids for Painting, Other Work

They provided bids on work that included painting, concrete work and a bathroom remodel project.

The bids averaged $3,000—well above what the law allows for those working without a CSLB license.

In California, only licensed contractors can accept projects totaling $500 or more in combined labor and material costs, according to officials.

All 10 suspects arrested during the two-day sting were cited for contracting without a license. The penalty for a conviction is up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

One contractor was also charged with drug possession after he was found with marijuana, methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia while being cited for illegal contracting.

2 Sting Alums

Two of the suspects had previously been arrested in other stings.


California's Contractors State License Board warns property owners about unlicensed contractors with a video.

One contractor had been convicted at least twice for illegal contracting, according to the CSLB, citing court records.

One painter was stripped of his contractor license in 2011 while doing business under another company name. The contractor had also been nabbed in two prior stings, in December 2012 and August 2014. This time, he bid almost $4,000 for a paint job at the sting home.

Both contractors were also cited on a misdemeanor charge of displaying a contractor license number that did not belong to them.

License Look-up

The CSLB website includes a look-up feature that also indicates whether the licensee has the required workers’ compensation coverage and current license bonds. 

The state License Board regulates California's more than 300,000 contractors.


Tagged categories: Contractors State License Board; Contracts; Licensing; Painters; Regulations; Residential contractors

Comment from Benjamin Mc Adoo, (10/30/2014, 11:18 AM)

Those that work for the city of California doing the sting operations, do an excellent job. I feel they could do a much better job if the state gave better support in their duties in removing unscrupulous individuals that harm California residents and make the journey for those who legally operate much more difficult.

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