Rocklin Sting Helps Net Sex Offenders and Felons
Rocklin, CA - Ninety-seven people may face criminal charges after being caught in 14 simultaneous statewide undercover sting operations conducted this week by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB).
Among those arrested during CSLB's summer California Blitz were 11 repeat offenders, four sex offenders, four suspects with active arrest warrants, four suspects on probation, two former CSLB licensees, and a woman who received widespread media attention last year as a so-called "Sweetheart Swindler." Three of the suspects were taken to jail.
"It's particularly disturbing how many of the suspects we targeted turned out to be convicted criminals, many with a history of violent crimes and drugs," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "If you knew their backgrounds, you'd never allow them in your home."
Investigators from CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) partnered with a variety of local law enforcement agencies to conduct the operations on July 15 and 16, 2014, at homes in Apple Valley (San Bernardino County), Artesia (Los Angeles County), Atascadero (San Luis Obispo County), Bakersfield (Kern County), Corona (Riverside County), Los Banos (Merced County), Rocklin (Placer County), and South Lake Tahoe (El Dorado County).
SWIFT investigators posed as homeowners seeking bids for home improvements such as painting, electrical, decking, landscaping, flooring, drywall, fencing, concrete, and tree removal work. Of the 97 individuals arrested, 94 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.
One of those caught in Rocklin is Samantha Pham, of Elk Grove, who is on probation after pleading guilty to various felonies last year, including theft from an elder and an allegation of aggravated white collar crime. Pham was convicted of swindling an older man out of a luxury car, $200,000, and his Bay Area home. Her sentence includes three years of supervised probation. She was arrested for contracting without a license through a local business she runs, called Bella's Kitchen & Bath. She faces a number of new charges that include contracting without a license, fraudulent use of a CSLB license number, and requesting an excessive down payment.
Three convicted sex offenders also showed up at the Rocklin sting. One suspect and his worker had met at a recovery facility. At the South Lake Tahoe sting, two repeat offenders (for unlicensed contracting) were caught, including one who was cited just three months ago.
Eighty-two 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.
Ten 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.
Two 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 email or fax at a later date. All of those caught this week were identified through illegal ads they posted on craigslist.org.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesPlacer 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
California Statewide Fire Summary (7.28.15)California Fire Updates 2015: While most of California saw a rise in temperatures, firefighters across the State continued to make good progress on the 9 active large wildfires.
Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (7.28.15)Crime report digest update for Roseville, California July 28, 2015.
Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders August 7thThe 12th Annual UC Davis Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders - one of the nation's premier gatherings of health professionals, educators and families
NEWS: In Case You Missed It