CSLB Cites Nine for Illegal Contracting in the Central Valley


All nine face charges for contracting without a license and eight face additional charge for illegal advertising

SACRAMENTO - On May 30, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) went undercover during a sting operation to catch unlicensed contractors. As a result, nine individuals were cited for allegedly placing illegal bids on home improvement projects. The one-day sting was a coordinated effort with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) and the Fresno County District Attorney's office.

At a single-family home just ten minutes from Fulton Mall, CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) went undercover as homeowners and invited alleged unlicensed individuals to bid on painting the interior and exterior of the house, installing a new roof, and landscaping the front and backyard.

The bids, which ranged between $1,700 for painting and $7,500 for roofing, far exceeded the legal amount for contracting without a license. In California, a contractor license is required for all projects that cost $500 or more for labor and materials combined.

All nine suspects received a citation for alleged unlicensed contracting (Business and Professions Code (BPC) § 7028). First-conviction penalties for contracting without a license include up to six months in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines. A second conviction can carry a mandatory sentence of up to 90 days in jail. Penalties are more severe with each successive violation.

"CSLB-issued citations can lead to some serious charges and fines, but we ultimately hope that it results in the individuals getting properly licensed," said CSLB Registrar David R. Fogt. "Homeowners can also make sure someone they hired is licensed by cross referencing their name, business name, or license number on our online database." Consumers can also begin their search for a licensed contractor using CLSB's new "Find My Licensed Contractor" website feature, which allows users to create a list of licensed contractors in a specific trade classification and geographic area. [added this last sentence please review.]

Eight of the suspects received another citation for illegal advertising (BPC § 7027.1). State law requires that unlicensed contractors note in all advertising that they are not licensed, and licensed contractors must list their license number.

All offenders were ordered to appear in court on August 7, 2018 at Fresno Superior Court, 1100 Van Ness Avenue, Room 402, Fresno, CA (MAP).

NOTE: All suspects are presumed innocent until their case is resolved.

DAY 1
SUSPECT NAME
CITY OF RESIDENCE
LICENSE CLASSIFICATION ALLEGED VIOLATION
Kevin Lee Walker
Clovis
C-33 Painting and Decorating Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Lionel Gonzalez
Fresno
C-39 Roofing Contractor,
C-33 Painting and Decorating
Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Bobby Lee Gibson
Fresno
C-39 Roofing Contractor,
C-33 Painting and Decorating
Contracting Without a License
Curtis Peterson
Fresno
C-33 Painting and Decorating Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Ruben Torres Aguero Jr.
Mendota
C-33 Painting and Decorating Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Wbaldo Rodriguez-Rodriguez
Fresno
C-27 Landscaping Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Andres Jose Romero
Fresno
C-33 Painting and Decorating,
C-15 Flooring and Floor Covering Contractors
Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Emmanuel Salinas
Fresno
C-54 Ceramic and Mosaic Tile Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Antonio Zenclejas Franco
Fresno
C-27 Landscaping Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising

Always "check the license first" before hiring a contractor by visiting www.cslb.ca.gov or by calling 800-321-CSLB (2752). CSLB has introduced a new website feature to help consumers start their search for a licensed contractor. The new "Find My Licensed Contractor" feature enables users to build a list of all licensed contractors, sorted by trade, in a specific geographic area.

The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. CSLB licenses and regulates almost 290,000 contractors in California and is regarded as one of the leading consumer protection agencies in the United States. In fiscal year 2016-17, CSLB helped recover over $47 million in ordered restitution for consumers.


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