Painters and other contractors in the Sacramento, CA, area have been caught up in the state’s latest undercover sting operation, aimed at cracking down on unlicensed, uninsured operators.
The round-up July 11 included one painting contractor who had an outstanding arrest warrant for driving on a suspended license.
|California’s state contractor licensing board regularly wages undercover sting operations on unlicensed, uninsured contractors. The California Landscape Contractors Association recently cooperated with the board in one roundup.|
Such stings are a regular enforcement activity in California, where the Contractor’s State License Board aggressively monitors contractor licensing, insurance and advertising.
Answering the Call
In the latest sweep, investigators from the board’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) team sought bids for residential painting, concrete, roofing, tile and landscaping at a home in Weed, CA.
The contractors who responded and bid more than $500 for labor and materials face misdemeanor charges for contracting without a license. Some also face charges for illegal advertising.
California requires contractors to place their license number in all advertisements. Those without a license may advertise to do jobs valued at less than $500, but their ads must state that they are not a licensed contractor.
The day after the Weed arrests, investigators from SWIFT, the local District Attorney’s Office and police, and the Department of Insurance fanned out for a sweep of various construction sites throughout Siskiyou County to identify unlicensed and uninsured contractor activity.
Inspections in seven communities found all contractors had licenses and appropriate workers’ compensation insurance.
In an eighth area, however, authorities slapped a stop-work order on a home rebuilding project led by Daniel George Beauchene.
Beauchene was charged with contracting without a license and failing to secure workers’ compensation insurance for his four employees at the site. The order prohibits Beauchene from working until he obtains a valid workers’ compensation policy and entitles his workers to up to 10 days’ worth of pay.
“CSLB and its law enforcement partners have put unlicensed contractors on notice that underground economic activity will not be tolerated,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “Not only does the activity put our state consumers at risk, but it also creates unfair competition for legitimate, licensed contractors who obey state laws and regulations.”
Suspects caught in the July 11 sting operation are scheduled for arraignment Sept. 11.