Contractors State License Board Investigators Follow Tip, Issue $221,500 in Citations to Four in Tehama County
Evidence found could lead to filing of 70 criminal charges
SACRAMENTO — Acting on a tip from the Tehama County Building Department (TCBD), the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) this past week investigated allegations that several unlicensed contractors were building many homes in the region in violation of the Building and Professions (B&P) Code 7044 exemption for owner-builders. That exemption limits the number of single family residential structures that can be built for sale or offered for sale in a calendar year to four or less.
Investigators from the CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) found evidence that expired licensee Roger Lang and his girlfriend, Lisa Fair, allegedly built ten properties in the town of Gerber by pulling permits as owner-builders. The houses were listed for sale before they were built or passed final inspection.
SWIFT Investigators also determined that another unlicensed individual, Darrell McCarver, was allegedly operating as a contractor on the same projects. McCarver told investigators that he was Lang's partner and employed several unlicensed contractors.
Six administrative citations were issued to Lang, charging him with multiple counts of violation of B&P Code Sections 7028 (Contracting without a License) and 7125.2(d) (Acting as an Unlicensed Contractor without Workers' Compensation Insurance). Fair and McCarver were given citations for multiple counts of contracting without a license.
In addition, the CSLB is referring to the Tehama County District Attorney (D.A.) criminal charges against Lang and Fair for multiple felony counts of conspiracy and perjury, and misdemeanor charges of contracting without a license. Lang and Fair could face additional criminal charges for failure to provide Workers' Compensation Insurance for employees. The combined civil penalties assessed against the trio were $131,500.
Another owner-builder suspect referred by the TCBD was Timothy Guarino. Guarino, who is a registered sex offender, had his CSLB license revoked in the early 1990's. SWIFT investigators determined that Guarino allegedly built six new homes in Tehama County under the owner-builder exemption. All six of the properties have been listed for sale; one of them is currently occupied.
SWIFT investigators have issued Guarino six administrative citations for contracting without a license, totaling $90,000. Criminal charges alleging six felony counts of perjury and six misdemeanor counts of contracting without a license were referred to the DA.
CSLB Administrative Actions
|2||Violation Warning Letters|
Criminial Counts - Referrals to Tehama County District Attorney
|22||Penal Code 182 - Conspiracy||Felony|
|18||Penal Code 118- Perjury||Felony|
|28||B&P 7028 - Contracting Without a License||Misdemeanor|
|2||California Labor Code 3700.5 - Failure to Provide Workers Compensation Insurance||Misdemeanor|
The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The CSLB licenses and regulates California's 312,000 contractors, and investigates more than 21,000 complaints against contractors annually. In fiscal year 2006-07, the CSLB helped consumers get almost $45 million in ordered restitution.
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