FROM:
Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Robert R. Lux, Deputy District Attorney
Economic Crimes Unit
(408) 792-2688   For Release on November 14, 2002     UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS CAUGHT IN STING OPERATION   On November 11 and 12, 2002, a sting operation conducted by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and the Economic Crime Unit of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office resulted in the criminal citation of 27 people for contracting without a valid state license. Similar stings took place in San Rafael, Kensington and San Francisco. The timing of the Bay Area sting was chosen to highlight the dangers of hiring unlicensed contractors for winter property improvements like roof repair, furnace maintenance, or holiday spruce-ups. By law, all contractors who perform work that totals $500 or more (labor and materials) must be licensed by the CSLB.   The sting operation in Santa Clara County was conducted from a house in the City of Saratoga. Investigators from the Contractors State License Board--in conjunction with District Attorney Investigators--posed as homeowners and invited suspected unlicensed contractors to the house. Investigators discussed with the unlicensed contractors the work needed on the house, ranging from painting and roofing to deck repair and fencing. When the unlicensed contractors bid on the job, they were issued a criminal citation for contracting without a license. As a result of the charges filed, each defendant faces up to six months in County Jail and a fine of up to $2000.   The District Attorney’s Office recommends that anyone with questions or complaints relating to building contractors contact the Contractors State License Board at the toll free number (800) 321-1244 or http://www.cslb.ca.gov/   ###    

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