Friday Jan 29 2010
Contractors State License Board investigators alerted to sting target by local building officials operation
Unlicensed operator among 16 busted in undercover operation
Enforcement representatives from the Contractors State License Board’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team acted on a tip from city of Lincoln building officials to catch an unlicensed contractor allegedly suspected of illegally operating in Placer County. While pulling permits for building and repair projects at the city building department, local licensed contractors voiced concerns that David Alan Ledford, 35, of Lincoln, was contracting without a license, according to a press release Jan. 28 from the Contractors State License Board. During a sting at Sun City Lincoln Hills on Jan. 26, investigators invited Ledford to submit a bid. When he did, Ledford received a notice to appear in court for contracting without a license and illegal advertising, and an administrative citation for illegal advertising and fraudulent use of a contractor license number not issued to him, according to the press release. Illegally using another person’s license number is punishable by up to $10,000 in fines. Ledford was one of 12 suspects who received a notice to appear for contracting without a license. Eleven of those suspects will also answer to charges of illegal advertising. Court appearances will be on March 23 at the Bill Santucci Justice Center in Roseville. Ledford and three others also received administrative citations for contracting without a license. Two of those citations included advertising violations. California Business & Professions Code requires contractors to be state-licensed for home improvement work valued at more than $500 for combined labor and material costs. B&P Code also requires contractors to put their license number in all advertisements. Those without licenses may do jobs valued at less than $500 but they must state that they are not licensed contractors in all of their advertisements. During the undercover operation, investigators solicited bids for home improvement projects including landscaping, fencing, interior and exterior painting, flooring, tile, and cabinet work. The license board’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team was assisted by the Amador and Placer County District Attorney’s offices and the Lincoln Police Department during the operation. “CSLB is excited that the Board’s relationship with the Lincoln Development Services Department and its building officials helped investigators locate and hold accountable an unlicensed operator,” said Contractors State License Board’s Registrar Steve Sands. “CSLB values its relationships with local governments and law enforcement agencies throughout the state that will help ensure continued success in combating unlicensed, unlawful activity.” Building officials only grant permits to state-licensed contractors. Consumers should be wary that any rebuilding, remodeling, or installation project requiring a permit might not meet the safety or energy efficiency standards required by state law, and could potentially put them and their families at risk. Licensed contractors are also required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for all employees (and themselves if they are C-39 roofers) and a $12,500 contractor license bond to ensure consumer protection. CSLB provides many helpful consumer publications that can be downloaded or ordered from the Web site www.CheckTheLicenseFirst.com or www.cslb.ca.gov, or by calling, toll-free 1-800-321-CSLB (2752). Other Lincoln residents receiving a notice to appear in court March 23 for contracting without a license, illegal advertising are Kenneth Dzor, George Allen Greer, Joe Britton and Jason Edward Post, according to the Contractors State License Board’s press release.