Undercover Stings Find Nearly 30 Unlicensed Contractors Operating In Southern California

by stephanieargyros on July 26, 2017

in Latest News

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Undercover stings in Orange and Long Beach have discovered more than two dozen contractors in Southern California operating without a contractor’s license.

Investigators with the Contractors State License Board’s fraud division compiled leads from Craigslist, Yelp, business cards and local advertisements. Then, posing as homeowners in need of home work, they invited contractors suspected of operating without a license to bid on projects.

Nearly thirty people who placed bids were cited by the Board for operating without a state license. Under Board rules and state law, unlicensed contractors may only make bids on jobs costing less than $500 for materials and/or labor. According to the Board’s fraud division, painting bids by the unlicensed contractors averaged $4,000. In Orange, quotes began at $2,500 for a wood fence to $22,000 for new pavers, according to a press release from the Board.

Online sites like Craigslist and local advertisements do not always check to see whether businesses are properly licensed, according to David Fogt, a License Board registrar. Fogt stressed the importance of homeowners verifying the contractor’s license before hiring them.

Twenty-eight suspects were additionally cited for illegal advertising. State law requires unlicensed contractors to state specifically in all advertising that they are not licensed. The penalty is a fine of between $700 and $1,000.

Another suspect was cited for requesting an excessive down payment. According to state law, a down payment on a contract cannot exceed $1,000 or ten percent of the total contract price, whichever is lower. The penalty for an requesting an excessive down payment can be up to six months in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.

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Post by Stephanie Argyros

Stephanie has written 252 articles.

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