The Contractors State License Board conducted an undercover operation in homes in Reedley and Visalia, targeting unlicensed operators trying to take advantage of consumers, the board said.
During the statewide operation, investigators used online advertising sites to look for people suspected of performing illegal contracting work. According to state law, a contractor without a license cannot perform work that totals more than $500. If the person bid more than $500 for a job during the sting, they were arrested and could face misdemeanor charges.
A total of 11 notices to appear were issued in Reedley and two people with arrest warrants were taken to jail. One suspect, who was on parole for burglary, made a $1,500 bid for exterior painting, then drove 90 minutes to the home to pick up a $600 down payment check, the board said.
In Visalia, 12 notices to appear were issued, including one instance where a suspect drove right to the sting after passing both licensing exams at a testing center in Fresno.
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The penalty for a first conviction is up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.