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 Investigation Opinion

I received an email via my contact form on my website. I don’t know what prompted this person to send me this, other than to give their opinion about the CSLB investigators.

Here’s their comment, untouched and not modified. cslb investigation opinion

“with and in fact most likely shoved into someone elses pile of folders. Make sure to cover yourself with confirmations of documents received. Make sure to double check with the people that filled out work experience forms on your behalf to see if they received phone calls or further documentation to fill out…because investigators will say they left messages but never was able to verify with previous employers. It’s part of the game, job security for them. Request to speak with a supervisor when you get nowhere with an investigator. Get a face to face meeting and bring a binder with each job tabbed showing, length of time, 1099 or W2 to back it up, permits (if applicable), work experience form filled out by the verifier, and a letter from the verifier stating specific duties you performed in relation to the classification you are going to be licensed for. Cross your T’s and dot your I’s and document everything, organize it and state your case. Do it sooner rather than later because they will give you no more than 30 days to do so, and when they extend it to 60 make sure you request a legal hearing to protect yourself, or you will have to start all over again! Don’t take the investigators word that they are still reviewing because they are not, you must be pro-active and get that face to face meeting with the supervisor. This is the only way that CSLB will start realizing that most of the investigators are really not even doing their job and most likely don’t have a clue on how to do it! I was shocked at the lack of organization and mess of notes and scribble the investigator showed me…they should be ashamed of such a poor representation of their investigative department.”

Do you have a CSLB Investigation Opinion that you’d like to share. Please, feel free to email me. I will keep your name anonymous.

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