San Diego Business Journal

Unlicensed Contractor Sting Yields 10 Arrests

By SDBJ Staff Sunday, June 8, 2014

State authorities have arrested 10 people for allegedly working without a contractor license in San Marcos neighborhoods impacted by recent wildfires, as part of an undercover sting operation.

Investigators posed as homeowners seeking bids for fire repairs in the Coronado Hills area of San Marcos, which sustained much of the damage from last month’s Cocos fire, according to a statement issued by the Contractors State License Board in Sacramento.

The Cocos fire destroyed more than 30 homes in and around San Marcos.

Task force investigators from state and county agencies posed as homeowners seeking bids for wildfire repairs and home improvement projects, including the rebuilding of a gazebo, exterior painting and driveway repairs.

Suspects arrested in the June 4 operation face misdemeanor charges for contracting without a license.

Officials said contractors working on any job totaling $500 or more for labor and materials must be licensed by the state license board. Seven of those arrested were also cited for illegal advertising.

State law requires contractors to place their license number in all print, broadcast and online advertisements.

The contractor license board is part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The recent sting included task force partners from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the County Sheriff’s Department and California Department of Insurance.