Friday, 01 June 2007 01:36

Contractor’s License Sting Nets 17 In Local Arrests

slide3District Attorney Todd D. Riebe announced today the results of an undercover investigation which resulted in 17 cases of allegedly contracting without a license. The operation, which took place Wednesday of this week, was a combined effort by investigators from the Contractors State License Board, the California Department of Insurance, Fraud Division, detectives from the Jackson Police Department and investigators from the Amador County District Attorney’s Office. The investigation underscores the fact that illegal contractors continue to operate in this region and pose a threat to consumers

slide4 “This investigation sends a message to law breakers that we are watching what they do and will prosecute when appropriate to protect law-abiding contractors and consumers,” said District Attorney Todd D. Riebe. Some defendants will face additional charges, including unlawful advertising and fraudulent use of a license number. Each count of contracting without a license and unlawful advertising is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for the first offense. Fraudulent use of a license number may be charged as a felony and is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.

The Contractors State License Board and the Amador County District Attorney’s Office urge consumers to follow these simple suggestions before hiring someone to remodel or repair your home: Hire Only Licensed Contractors. Check a contractor’s license number on the Contractors State License Board website at or call (800) 321-CSLB (2752). Verify Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage. Employers are required to obtain a workers' compensation insurance policy to protect employees who may be injured on the job. Check the status of a contractor’s workers’ compensation policy on the Contractors State License Board website at Get a Written Contract. Don’t sign anything until you completely understand the terms. Avoid making cash payments and don’t let payments get ahead of work. Keep a file of all papers related to your project. Report Fraud. Everyone suffers because of fraud. Tax dollars are wasted, the price of consumer goods increases, and legitimate employers lose money. To report unlicensed contracting activity or someone committing fraud, call the Contractors State License Board SWIFT Unit in Sacramento at (916) 255-2924 or the Amador County District Attorney’s Office at (209) 223-6444.