California is continuing its crackdown on off-the-books contractors, including painters.
In the second sweep in two weeks, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) nabbed six suspected unlicensed contractors last week, including four who had bid on painting work at a “sting home” the board used in San Bernardino, CA.
|California’s sting operations are intended to educate unlicensed workers about state laws and to encourage those who qualify to get licenses, the agency says.|
One of the painters also had a $20,000 outstanding warrant for drug charges. Police took the suspect to jail, where he was also booked for being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, CSLB said.
All of the individuals bid in excess of $500; California law requires a license for home improvement and construction contracts of more than $500. The six suspects also face charges of soliciting excessive down payments. California law prohibits soliciting or accepting a down payment larger than 10% or $1,000, whichever is less.
Four of the contractors will also face illegal advertising charges. Contractors are required to place their license number in all online, print, and broadcast advertisements. Those without licenses may legally advertise for jobs valued at less than $500, but their ads must state that they are not licensed contractors.
Two of the suspects had placed ads on Craigslist, CSLB said.
Sending a Message
“CSLB and its law enforcement partners are sending a message to illegal operators that failure to comply with state laws that protect consumers will not be tolerated,” said Steve Sands, CSLB registrar.
“This activity creates unfair competition for legitimate, licensed contractors who obey state laws and regulations and cheats state taxpayers who pay their fair share instead of cash payments under the table.”
The contractors will face arraignment Oct. 11 in San Bernardino County Superior Court.