Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin and Roseville Today Local Events
contact add event advertise 

Illegal Ads on Craigslist Catch Unlicensed Contractors



Dozens of people now may face criminal charges after being caught in simultaneous undercover sting operations conducted by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) March 25-27, 2014, in nine California locations.

     Among the 121 individuals arrested during CSLB's spring California Blitz were repeat offenders, a man who is awaiting trial on an assault with a deadly weapon charge, and someone who was caught in not one, but two different stings.

     Investigators from CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT), along with partners from a variety of local law enforcement agencies, conducted the stings in Bass Lake (Madera County), Clovis (Fresno County), Dana Point (Orange County), Hanford (Kings County), Palos Verdes Estates (Los Angeles County), Sacramento (Sacramento County), San Jose (Santa Clara County), Vista (San Diego County), and Woodland (Yolo County).

     SWIFT investigators posed as homeowners seeking bids for home improvements such as painting, drywall, landscaping, decking, cabinets, flooring, fencing, masonry, concrete, and tree removal work.

     After seeing his ad posted on craigslist.org, CSLB investigators invited Martin Villegas, of North Highlands, to the Sacramento sting. Villegas showed up with two other men and gave a $1,200 bid for landscaping work. That led to his first Notice to Appear (NTA) for contracting without a license.

      His brush with the law didn't appear to slow down Villegas. The next day he showed up after being invited to a sting location in nearby Woodland. Villegas gave a different team of CSLB undercover investigators a $2,150 bid for exterior painting, landscaping, and concrete work.

     That led to Villegas's second NTA in two days.

     One suspect caught in the Clovis sting is actually a licensed contractor. But, Jeffrey Daniel Jimenez's license (#849108) was suspended last September after he failed to reimburse his bond company for a $1,700 payout it made to a consumer.

     A number of the suspects targeted during the operation were on CSLB's radar after having consumer complaints filed against them. In one case, a suspect was cited by CSLB after a refusing to take care of a paint job he botched. The suspect was more than willing to give an undercover investigator $1,200 bid for painting. That earned the suspect a date in front of a superior court judge.

     Of the 121 individuals arrested, 115 now may face misdemeanor charges for contracting without a license (Business and Professions Code section 7028). The penalty for a conviction is up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

     Ninety-four suspects also may be charged with illegal advertising (Business and Professions Code section 7027.1). State law requires contractors to place their license number in all print, broadcast, and online advertisements. Those without a license can advertise to perform jobs valued at less than $500, but the ad must state that they are not a licensed contractor. The penalty is a fine of $700 to $1,000.

     Seven others may be charged with requesting an excessive down payment (Business and Professions Code section 7159.5). In California, a home improvement project down payment cannot exceed 10 percent of the contract total or $1,000, whichever is less. This misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.

     Nineteen of the phony contractors also were issued Stop Orders (Business and Professions Code section 7127). CSLB investigators can halt job site activity when any person with or without a contractor license does not have workers' compensation insurance coverage for employees. Failure to comply with a Stop Order can result in misdemeanor charges and penalties, including 60 days in jail and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

     Blitz totals may increase as some suspects are expected to provide their bids to undercover investigators via text, email or fax at a later date. A majority of those caught this week were identified through illegal ads posted on craigslist.org.





Placer County News Headlines

Tahoe Restoration Act of 2015 IntroducedCongressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced legislation to address catastrophic wildfire and invasive species threats

Roseville Location for New Placer County Assessor's OfficeRoseville, CA - To better meet the needs of the public, the Placer County Assessor's Office is pleased to announce the opening of its newest office, located at 10810 Justice Center Drive

California Fires Update Summary (7.31.15)California Fire Updates 2015: Today, 8,000 firefighters are battling 18 large wildfires in California, including several that are on the National Forest and nearing full containment.

Placer Valley Sports Complex: Who's Designing It?Placer Valley Sports Complex, Inc. has reached its first major milestone in the building and development of its brand new, state-of-the-art Regional Sports Complex in Roseville.

25 Year Old Arrested as Arson SuspectThe Placer County Sheriff's Office arrested David Petrashishen, 25 for arson following Sunday's fire in Elverta.

California Statewide Fire Summary (7.30.15)California Fire Updates 2015: Yesterday afternoon and evening fire activity in Northern California significantly increased as temperatures hit the triple digits and the winds became very gusty.

Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (7.30.15)Roseville, CA - Weekly crime report digest update for Roseville, July 30, 2015.

State Moonlights as SlumlordIf a recent study to determine the safety of 29 state-owned buildings tells us anything, it's that the state is a terrible landlord

Community Foundations Fund Senior Nutrition ProgramsAuburn, CA - Thanks to additional funding, Seniors First will soon expand a program established to provide homebound seniors with hot meals and daily social interaction

Hot Pink Fun Run in Roseville to benefit Placer Breast Cancer FoundationRoseville, CA -- The Placer Breast Cancer Foundation is hosting the eighth annual Hot Pink Fun Run event in Roseville.

Air Quality Alert in Placer CountyThe Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control District are issuing a joint air quality advisory to notify the public of the potential for poor air quality

Roseville and Lincoln to Host Senior Softball-USA Western NationalsThe 15th Annual Senior Softball-USA Western Nationals (SSUSA) will take place August 3-9 at Foskett Regional Park in Lincoln and Maidu Regional Park in Roseville


NEWS: In Case You Missed It