Twenty people were caught in a sting this month in Fresno operating their businesses without licenses, and one person went to jail, the Contractors State License Board announced.
In the undercover operation conducted Nov. 16 and 17, state investigators posed as owners of a home near the San Joaquin Country Club and invited contractors to submit home improvement project bids. The 20 who were contracting without a license were from Fresno, Clovis and Coarsegold.
Following the undercover sting operation, two people were found to be repeat offenders, and one was taken to jail for failing to appear in court for the previous operation. Another person found operating a business without a license had his contractor’s license revoked last month after a criminal conviction related to functions of a contractor. Four people were cited for failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance for employees.
Investigators also found that fees being charged by the unlicensed contractors were beyond legal requirements; California law requires a license for home improvement jobs that cost $500 or more. Two people also allegedly requested excessive down payments.
Of the 20 unlicensed contractors, 17 were reported to be advertising their businesses even when they were not certified by the state.
The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol assisted with the operation.
All persons cited are scheduled to appear in Fresno County Superior Court on Feb. 7 or 8.
Check the license
The Contractors State License Board offers a portal for consumers to check a contractor’s license status at its website, www.cslb.ca.gov