CHICO, Calif. - The Contractors State License Board conducted a sting operation, which resulted in the citation of 13 suspects for illegal contracting in Chico.
The CSLB Investigative Fraud Team partnered with the Butte County District Attorney's Office and set up shop at a single-family home near Wildwood Park. Investigators posed as homeowners and contacted alleged unlicensed contractors from their online advertisements and business cards posted at local home improvement stores.
Ten of the suspects offered their services for prices ranging from nearly $1,000 for painting to $3,750 for a new concrete patio, which is well over the legal threshold for contracting without a license.
“There’s no telling if someone who is unlicensed has the skills, insurance, or knows the trade well enough to do the work and to do it right," said David Fogt, CSLB Registrar. “By using CSLB's free online tools like Find My Licensed Contractor or Check a License, homeowners can find a licensed contractor in their area and avoid the headache of hiring someone who could potentially take advantage of them.”
The advertisements could lead to misdemeanor charges for 11 individuals who neglected to state in their ads that they were not licensed. Advertisements for unlicensed contractors must state that they are not a state-licensed contractor and the type of jobs advertised must be worth less than $500.
The cases are not being forwarded to the Butte Couty District Attorney's Office with a recommendation for the criminal filings.