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CSLB Press Release - 5/5/14

Illegal Contractor Wanted for DUI, Domestic Violence Arrested in Bakersfield CSLB Undercover Sting

Eight others cited for misdemeanors and released

SACRAMENTO —Donald Ray Laverdure, Bakersfield, was cited for various contracting law violations and taken into custody for DUI and domestic violence warrants totaling $200,000 during an April 30, 2014 undercover sting conducted by the Contractors State License Board’s (CSLB) Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT). The sting took place at a home in East Bakersfield with support from the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol.

SWIFT members, posing as homeowners, asked suspects to bid on tree trimming, concrete, painting, and patio construction projects. The bids ranged from a low of $660 for painting, to a high of $1,800 for concrete work.

A total of nine suspects were cited for contracting without a license (Business and Professions Code section 7028(a)). In California, all home improvement jobs valued at $500 or more (combined labor and material costs) must be conducted by a company or person with a CSLB-issued license. All nine were cited by Kern County District Attorney investigators for operating without workers’ compensation insurance (Labor Code section 3700.5), and were issued “Stop Orders” by CSLB officials.

Six suspects were cited on a misdemeanor charge of 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 for jobs valued at less than $500, but the ad must state that they are not a licensed contractor.

Four phony contractors also were cited for requesting an excessive down payment (Business and Professions Code section 7159.5). The legal limit for down payments is 10 percent or $1,000, whichever is less.

“Some of these characters masquerading as contractors have checkered pasts. Visit the CSLB website and check their license,” CSLB Registrar Steve Sands said. “Consumers cannot let their guard down when it comes to hiring legal, licensed people to perform work on their property.”

Individuals who received NTAs must appear at 8:30 a.m. on July 9, 2014, in Kern County Superior Court, 1215 Truxtun Avenue, Division G, Bakersfield, (Map) to answer to illegal contracting charges.


SUSPECT'S NAME
CITY OF RESIDENCE
LICENSE CLASSIFICATION ALLEGED VIOLATIONS

Frank Tirado
Bakersfield

D49 – Tree Service

Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
No workers' compensation insurance,
Stop Order issued

Jim Scott Meadors
Bakersfield

C33 - Painting and Decorating

Contracting without a license,
No workers' compensation insurance,
Stop Order issued

Raymond Lee Rangel
Bakersfield

D49 – Tree Service

Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
Excessive down payment,
No workers' compensation insurance,
Stop Order issued

Donald Ray Laverdure
Bakersfield

C8 - Concrete

Contracting without a license,
No workers' compensation insurance,
Stop Order issued

Richard G. Palezyan
Bakersfield

C33 - Painting and Decorating

Contracting without a license,
No workers' compensation insuarnce,
Excessive down payment,
Stop Order issued

Heriberto Gonzalez Rodriguez
Bakersfield

D49 – Tree Service

Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
No workers' compensation insurance,
Stop Order issued

Julian Robert Baca
Bakersfield

C33 - Painting and Decorating

Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
Excessive down payment,
No workers' compensation insurance,
Stop Order issued

Wulfrano Briviesca Lopez
Bakersfield

C33 - Painting and Decorating

Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
Excessive down payment,
No workers' compensation insurance,
Stop Order issued

Librado Mateo-Mondragon
Bakersfield

D49 – Tree Service

Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
No workers' compensation insurance,
Stop Order issued


CSLB encourages consumers to always “Check The License First” by visiting www.cslb.ca.gov or calling CSLB’s toll-free automated line 800.321.CSLB (2752). Also, visit CSLB’s website for tips about how to hire a contractor and to sign up for CSLB Email Alerts.

The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. More information and publications about hiring contractors are available on the CSLB website or by calling 800-321-CSLB (2752). CSLB licenses and regulates California's 300,000 contractors, and is regarded as one of the leading consumer protection agencies in the United States. In fiscal year 2012-13, CSLB helped recover nearly $44 million in ordered restitution for consumers.