CSLB Continues Underground Economy

CSLB Underground EconomyThe CSLB continues underground economy by making the requirements to obtain a license more restrictive.

They like to taut their sting operations and talk about where the “illegal contractors” are coming from. But what they aren’t talking about is how they are clamping down on what they will and will not accept as experience.

I was told recently by a CSLB employee that those in power are considering restricting who can be a certifier. It was suggested that they may only accept certifier’s who are contractors and/or contractor employers. They would no longer accept clients as certifiers or business associates as certifiers.

IF they do this, they better go thru the legislature because the law states who can be a certifier. The CSLB track record since Rick Villucci gained power is to do whatever they want without getting legislative approval.

Remember the “critical classifications” as the CSLB called them? CSLB staff has been directed to no longer use that term. Why? Because the Rick Villucci regime did not have the legal authority to segregate (profile) applications based on the trade that was being applied for.

Here’s a recent press release from the Contractors State License Board…

CSLB Drives Home Message to Unlicensed Contractors in Ventura County

Nearly 70 percent of illegal contractors from outside of county during two-day Moorpark sting 

SACRAMENTO  – Unlicensed contractors won’t let a long drive dissuade them from trying to steal work from legitimate contractors. A sting operation conducted in Moorpark last week by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) once again showed that to be true. Ten of the 14 individuals cited for illegal contracting came from outside of the area, including the outer reaches of Los Angeles County.

“Unlicensed contractors will beat a path to your door if they think there’s a big paycheck in it for them,” said CSLB Registrar Cindi Christenson. “Many times, they will turn in very low bids to get the job. But homeowners take big risks if they fall into that trap. Always remember to check CSLB’s website to see if the person you plan to hire is licensed and in good standing.”

Investigators from CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT), assisted by Ventura County Sheriff’s Office deputies, held the sting at a ranch-style home near Moorpark College on April 8 and 9, 2015. Seven unlicensed contractors were caught each day and were given Notices to Appear in Ventura County Superior Court on charges of misdemeanor illegal contracting.

“The Moorpark Police Department and Ventura County Sheriff’s Office appreciate our partnership with the Contractors State License Board,” said Captain John Reilly of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. “Our joint efforts in this operation send a clear message that unlicensed contractors operating in Ventura County will be targeted and prosecuted.”

SWIFT investigators used tips from a variety of sources, including the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, a nearby city building department, and a state agency, to create a list of suspected unlicensed contractors who might be interested in submitting a home improvement bid. Project bids were given to investigators for installation of a tankless water heater, installation of vinyl fencing, flooring, tree removal, and interior painting.

All suspects turned in bids that were in excess of the limit allowed by state contracting laws. Any project that is $500 or more in combined labor and material costs must be performed by a state-licensed contractor, per Business and Professions Code section 7028. The highest bid, for the vinyl fence, was for $10,000; most were in the $2,000-$5,000 range.

All 14 suspects were cited for contracting without a license, as well as an additional charge of illegal advertising (Business and Professions Code section 7027.1). State law prohibits unlicensed contractors from advertising for construction-related work valued at $500 or more, although they can advertise for jobs below that amount if the ad states that they are not licensed.

First-conviction penalties for contracting without a license include up to six months in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines. Penalties are more severe with each successive violation.

Suspects have a court date of either June 17 or June 18, 2015, in Ventura County Superior Court, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura CA 90039.

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CSLB News Release

A CSLB News Release was issued today.

It’s good to see the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) getting out and doing these stings. There were several of them that were bidding as B-General Building Contractors. I wonder if any of them have looked into, or attempted to get their license but couldn’t because of the new application processing procedures. And this could be a sign that the underground economy is expanding.CSLB News Release

It Was Raining Illegal Contractors at Hayward CSLB Sting OperationNine suspects cited, given court dates for contracting without license, illegal advertising.

SACRAMENTO

– A stormy day didn’t deter unlicensed contractors from converging on a Hayward home to bid for construction work during a Contractors State License Board CSLB undercover sting operation on November 20, 2013, carried out with the assistance of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. Nine suspects were issued Notices to Appear NTAs in Superior Court on charges of contracting without a license and false advertising.

Investigators from CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team SWIFT posed as homeowners at the single-family home and fielded a multitude of offers to do work that included electrical, plumbing, fencing and flooring projects. It wasn’t difficult for CSLB investigators to identify those who might be illegally contracting in the area simply by checking online bulletin boards such as craigslist, business cards or flyers posted at hardware stores, and local publications, including Penny Saver.

Nine of the 10 people who showed up to give a bidwere cited. All nine face misdemeanor charges for both contracting without a license Business and Professions Code section 7028, which carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted, and illegal advertising Business and Professions Code section 7027.1. 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. The penalty is a fine of $700 to $1,000.

The lone person who did not bid had a good reason – he had been cited for illegal contracting during a CSLB sting in July and avoided getting caught again.

“It doesn’t matter what the conditions – rain, cold, or even after a natural disaster – unlicensed contractors always seem to come out of the woodwork,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “And they come to take advantage of a situation, no matter if they’re qualified or not to do the job.

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