Atascadero non-licensed home remodeling sting nets 12
July 19, 2014
Twelve local home remodelers were among 94 statewide who face charges of contracting without a license after they were snared in a statewide undercover sting conducted this week, according to the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB).
CSLB investigators posed as homeowners seeking bids from people advertising on Craigslist for home improvements such as painting, electrical, decking, landscaping, flooring, drywall, fencing, concrete, and tree removal work. The investigators would then have the remodeler give a bid before citing those who broke the law.
Statewide, 82 people were cited for illegal advertising, state law requires contractors to place their license number in all print, broadcast, and online advertisements. Those without a license can advertise to perform jobs valued at less than $500, but the ad must state that they are not a licensed contractor.
Another 10 were cited for requesting an excessive down payment. In California, a home improvement project down payment cannot exceed 10 percent of the contract total or $1,000, whichever is less. This misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.
Those arrested at a home in Atascadero include a suspect who had an arrest warrant from Imperial County, two repeat offenders; one was issued a notice to appear in 2009, the other in 2010, a previously licensed contractor who was warned in 2012 not to contract without a license, and a suspect who offered to build a deck for free – with materials he’d find on craigslist for free – if he’d be allowed to live in a camper that was on the property. The names of those cited were not released.
In Atascadero, CSLB investigators partnered with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol and the Atascadero Police Department.
Watch a video of the Contractors State License Board stings in Rocklin and Corona on July 15-16: