Fall 2013      |      Stephen P. Sands, Registrar      |      Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor


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Gozlan Investigation Leads to Grand Jury Indictment on Multiple Felony Charges

gozlan mugshot
            Avi Hviv Gozlan

While the vast majority of California's licensed contractors follow the law and deliver good value to their clients, there are a few who tarnish the reputation of the industry. CSLB, with the help of law enforcement and other agencies, tries to root out these bad apples through license revocations and the filing of criminal charges. Here are a few of the more recent egregious cases of abuse pursued by CSLB.

A CSLB investigation provided overwhelming evidence that helped convince the Ventura County Grand Jury to indict 13 people, including notorious revoked licensee Avi Gozlan, for their roles in an elaborate scheme that may have defrauded thousands of Southern California consumers out of millions of dollars.

Gozlan, of Tarzana, was indicted on 32 felony counts, including 22 counts of money laundering; five counts of theft from an elder or dependent adult; four counts of grand theft; and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime.

The Grand Jury indictments allege Gozlan oversaw a fraudulent remodeling and home improvement scheme across Southern California under the names AMCO, Liberty Construction, Universal Remodeling, VIP Home Design, and Vista Home Improvements.

Six other co-defendants earlier pleaded guilty to charges connected to the scheme, bringing the total number of individuals accused in the case to 19. The six who pleaded guilty were not included in the indictment.

gozlan arrest

Gozlan, seen being arrested in 2012 by Ventura County
District Attorney investigators, faces 32 felony counts.

It's alleged Gozlan preyed on consumers and sold them home improvement services through a complex network of telemarketers who made hundreds of daily high-pressure sales calls — many times contacting the same consumers multiple times — and presenting themselves as different companies with varying home improvement services.

These calls led to home improvement work that was substandard, never completed, or offered services ultimately not provided. It is believed that Gozlan's operation generated millions of dollars in annual revenue.

Gozlan was arrested by Ventura County District Attorney investigators on October 18, 2012.

Gozlan allegedly tried to hide behind a group of shell companies by "renting" legitimate licenses from other contractors for a monthly fee. In reality, licensed contractors were not overseeing or participating in these contracting businesses as required by California law (Business and Professions Code section 7068.1). Gozlan was previously licensed with CSLB, but the four licenses he was associated with were revoked by 2000 after similar illegal activities.

Among the six who earlier pleaded guilty were three qualifiers.

Check CSLB's website for further developments in the criminal case.

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