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.
Print This Article
Placer County News HeadlinesGovernor Brown Signs New Gun Control Bill Into LawCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the "Gun Violence Restraining Order (AB 1014)" that will allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court to remove firearms from someone temporarily
Placer County Tourism Gets Boost Placer County organizations team up to promote tourism in the region.
Want to Buy a Home and Need a Rich Uncle?Mortgage Alternative Program (MAP)- Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville writes about new program to help get families who can't currently qualify for a mortgage into homes of their choice and on the road to homeownership.
U.S. HealthWorks Offers Onsite Flu Shots U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, a leading operator of occupational healthcare and urgent care centers in the nation, said today it is offering to visit businesses on-site and provide flu vaccination shots
Roseville Police Bust Nets $40,000 Cash, Guns and MethRoseville narcotics detectives suspected that Joshua Holmboe was both selling illegal drugs directly to users and also supplying lower-level drug dealers, and that some of those drugs were then being sold and used in Roseville.
Governor Brown Signs Bill to Help Disabled VeteransLegislation sponsored by George Runner to protect California's disabled veterans has become law. Senate Bill 1113, authored by Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley),
Roseville Chamber Events October 2014Roseville, CA -- The Roseville Chamber of Commerce featured events for the month of October 2014.
Sacramento Area Gas Prices Down AgainAverage retail gasoline prices in Sacramento have fallen 2.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.61/g yesterday, according to
Nontraditional Employment for Women Event in RocklinSierra College seeks sponsors for the second Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) event on October 17
$160,000 for Scholarships Raised at WJU Anniversary GalaJessup's Gala Honored 75th Anniversary and those who brought the Growing University to Placer County
Wakefield Gets SA Chapters RunningMy featured person this week, Margery Wakefield, of Lansing, Michigan, has had lifelong struggles with schizophrenia, a mental health disability.
Overcharged Tax on an Auto Purchase? Get Your RefundUnfortunately, I've been hearing from my constituents that the Department of Motor Vehicles is overcharging tax on their vehicle purchases.