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 Rescue Mission Targets HomelessnessRoseville, CA - Placer Rescue Mission, a faith-based, nonprofit organization, aims to transform lives and end homelessness in Placer County by providing supportive housing
Roseville Banked Robbed AgainRoseville, CA- The Bank of America at 2221 Douglas Blvd. was robbed at about 1:45 p.m. yesterday, June 29, 2016.
Ian Anderson's Progressive Path: Founding member of Jethro Tull (part 2)(Part 2) - Soon, Anderson began training as a visual artist, which he felt gave him and many of his contemporaries a unique perspective on how he approached music
West Nile Virus in Placer County Spurs Treatment SprayingRoseville, CA- The Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District reported today that six mosquito samples and one dead bird have tested positive for West Nile virus this week
Trailhead Fire Updates: Mandatory Evacuations California Fire Updates 2016: Roseville, CA- Mandatory evacuations have been expanded in Placer County as the Trailhead Fire
4th of July Events in Roseville, Lincoln and AuburnRoseville, CA- The heat is on for the 4th of July events in Roseville and Placer County.
Foresthill Fire Grows: Steep Terrain and Limited AccessCalifornia Fire Updates 2016: The growing Trailhead Fire near Foresthill is currently being reported at 12 percent containment and has tripled in size to expanded to over 1,000 acres.
Ian Anderson's Progressive Path: Founding member of Jethro TullJethro Tull is considered by many to be one of the greatest progressive rock bands of all time. And Jethro Tull's 1972 album "Thick as a Brick" is considered to be one of the best progressive rock albums ever
Abalonetti Bar and Grill in MontereyMonterey, CA - On a recent visit to Monterey, we found ourselves enjoying the sights and sounds of Old Fisherman's Wharf
Raley's Ditching Sodas Deemed UnhealthyRoseville, CA- Raley's Family of Fine Stores has announced its decision to eliminate certain Raley's private label brand soda to advance their vision of health and wellness.
Downtown Roseville Partnership and Local Homeless Shelter AllianceRoseville, CA- The Downtown Roseville Partnership (DRP), in conjunction with The Gathering Inn (TGI), have launched a day porter program within the District.
Stand Up Placer gets helping hand from U.S. BankRoseville, CA, - Stand Up Placer today received a generous grant award of $10,000 and a sponsorship award of $2,500 from U.S. Bank
NEWS: In Case You Missed It