Daily we see reports of the CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) sending unlicensed operators to jail. Just recently in July 2010 CSLB stings stung 13 illegal operators, including violators of state energy-saving programs. We thought it best to share an overview of what the CSLB -Contractors State License Board, considers an illegal contractor and share what penalties these operators are potentially subject to.
According to the CSLB…
Who is considered an illegal contractor?
It is illegal for an unlicensed person to perform contracting work on any project valued at $500 or more in labor and materials. Besides being illegal, unlicensed contractors lack accountability and have a high rate of involvement in construction scams. They also are unfair competition for licensed contractors who operate with bonds, insurance and other responsible business practices.
What is the CSLB doing to stop illegal activity?
The Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) is set up to monitor and combat illegal activity. SWIFT has teams around the state that conduct stings on a regular basis and sweep construction sites.
SWIFT also conducts joint operations and sweeps with other state agencies dedicated to combating underground activity. The partnerships with other agencies raise the penalties and fines for violators by increasing the scope of violations to include taxes, illegal payrolls, and workers compensation and worker safety.
Penalties & Fines
“If you’re caught contracting without a license, you will likely have to go in front of a judge to answer to misdemeanor charges, which carry a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine, and a potential administrative fine of $200 to $15,000. If you get caught again, the penalties get stiffer. You could face a mandatory 90 day jail sentence as well as a fine of 20 percent of the contract price of the work performed, or a $4,500 fine.”, according to the CSLB.
Don’t get stung! Protect your future:
- Get Licensed this is critical and the law
- Do not engage in contracting work on any project valued at $500 or more in labor and materials
- Advertised accurately
View Video of CSLB Sting in action