CSLB Chalks up Big Numbers with October Statewide Undercover Sting Operations
SACRAMENTO — October 2008 was one of the busiest months ever, for sting operations conducted by the Contractors State License Board's (CSLB) Statewide investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT). The undercover sting operations were conducted in seven cities around the state: Moreno Valley, Big Bear Lake, Running Springs, Santa Maria, Atwater Village, Woodland and Jackson.
A total of 128 people were arrested and cited with a Notice to Appear (NTA) for unlicensed contracting activity. Many of the targeted suspects were repeat offenders and industry referrals. "One of the motivating factors behind these stings is to level the playing field for licensed contractors," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "The illegal operators are feeding off the underground economy and taking jobs away from legitimate business people."
The operation dates, locations and NTA totals are listed below:
|October 1-2, 2008||Moreno Valley||45|
|October 15, 2008||Woodland||12|
|October 21, 2008||Running Springs||8|
|October 22, 2008||Big Bear||7|
|October 22-23, 2008||Santa Maria||20|
|October 29-30, 2008||Atwater Village||27|
|October 30, 2008||Jackson||9|
Some of the sting operations fell under the auspices of the Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC). EEEC is Governor Schwarzenegger's task force that targets industries known to be active in the underground economy. A portion of CSLB's SWIFT Units are funded through the EEEC.
The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The CSLB licenses and regulates California's 315,000 contractors, and investigates more than 20,000 complaints against contractors annually. In fiscal year 2007-08, the CSLB obtained nearly $35.2 million in ordered restitution for consumers.
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