CSLB Sting Results in Arrest of Unlicensed Window Contractor
SONOMA — The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) today announced the arrest of Dennis Allen Leonard, dba Mr. Windows, for allegedly contracting without a license. Leonard was also charged with felony theft by false pretenses and felony misrepresentation for illegally using another person's contractor license number with the intent of defrauding the public.
Leonard had placed full page advertisements in the local newpaper, containing misleading energy savings statements. He offered energy efficient window replacements that purportedly would cut consumers' energy bills in half. The arrest was prompted by a CSLB undercover investigation.
Approximately 40 jobs had been initiated by Leonard, with more than $77,000 in deposits collected since January 2001. He was allegedly collecting 50 percent payments up front, but had not ordered or installed any of the promised windows.
Another individual was arrested during the sting, cited for contracting without a license, and released.
The CSLB urges consumers to follow these tips when hiring a contractor:
- Hire only licensed contractors and ask to see the license
- Check a contractor's license on CSLB's Web site at www.cslb.ca.gov, or by calling (800) 321-CSLB
- Get at least three bids and check references
- Get a written contract, and don't sign anything until you completely understand the terms
- Don't pay more than 10 percent of $1000, whichever is less, as a down payment
- Don't pay cash, and don't let the payments get ahead of the work
- Contact CSLB if you have a complaint against a contractor
The Contractors State License Board operates under the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The CSLB licenses and regulates California's 278,000 contractors, and investigates 25,000 complaints against contractors annually.
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