Crime

Cayucos home-repair sting nets 18 for allegedly contracting without a license

Acting on reports of unlicensed contractors in San Luis Obispo County, the California Contractors State License Board cited 18 people last week for allegedly contracting without a license, illegal advertising and demanding excessive down payment for projects in a two-day sting operation in Cayucos.

On Aug. 17 and 18, the agency’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team set up the sting at a single-family home in northern Cayucos where undercover agents, playing the role of homeowners, solicited bids for fencing, landscaping and painting jobs.

Bids reached up to $9,000 for a ruse deck and demolition project, according to the agency. California law requires construction work exceeding $500 or more in materials or labor to be performed by a state-licensed contractor.

Once a quote higher than the legal limit was given, the bidder was issued a citation for misdemeanor contracting without a state license and ordered to appear in court. A first conviction can fetch up to six months in jail as well as up to $5,000 in fines.

Of those cited, 17 were also written up for failing to state in their advertising that they were not licensed, and five people allegedly demanded excessive down payments. All were from San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties. A full list of those cited will be posted Wednesday at www.cslb.ca.gov/Media_Room.

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