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CSLB Press Release - 10/25/13

Repeat Offenders Caught Working Illegally in Yucaipa by Contractors State License Board

Two vehicles impounded, towed from scene

SACRAMENTO —Three of the four people who were arrested this week during a Contractors State License Board (CSLB) undercover sting operation at a Yucaipa mobile home park were familiar with the arrest process. One suspect had a prior conviction of domestic violence, another had been cited at two previous CSLB stings. The Yucaipa operation was conducted on October 23, 2013, by CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT), with the assistance of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Click to enlarge picture

CSLB investigators process suspected unlicensed contractor

When suspect Sean Carpini, of Banning, arrived and offered a “labor only” bid for drywall work, his behavior led investigators to believe that he may be under the influence. Carpini, who has multiple prior convictions (including DUIs, and property and grand theft) was cited and transported to jail after investigators discovered he was in possession of a controlled substance.

“A person who is willing to come into your home and pose as a licensed contractor often has a history of other crimes,” said Contractors State License Board Registrar Steve Sands. “Property owners need to be vigilant about who they hire to work in and around their family and property.” said Sands.

Investigators posed as property owners and invited people who advertised as contractors to give bids for concrete, drywall, painting, and stucco work. The four who were arrested face misdemeanor charges for both contracting without a license (Business and Professions Code section 7028), which carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted, and illegal advertising (Business and Professions Code section 7027.1). State law requires contractors to place their license number in all print, broadcast, and online advertisements. Those without a license can advertise to perform jobs valued at less than $500, but the ad must state that they are not a licensed contractor. The penalty is a fine of $700 to $1,000.

One suspect was cited for displaying a license that had not been issued to him (Business and Professions Code section 7027.3). In California, any person—licensed or unlicensed—who fraudulently uses a contractor’s license number that does not belong to him or her is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), a jail sentence, or both.

All suspects received Notices to Appear and are scheduled for arraignment at 8:30 a.m. on January 7, 2014, in San Bernardino County Superior Court, 351 North Arrowhead Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92415 (Map).

SUSPECTS WHO RECEIVED NOTICES TO APPEAR:

SUSPECT NAME
CITY OF RESIDENCE
LICENSE CLASSIFICATION VIOLATIONS
Nicolas Arreola
Moreno Valley
C35 - Lathing and Plastering Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
Jeffery Lawrence Manka
San Jacinto
C8 - Concrete Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
Sean Carpini
Banning
C35 - Lathing and Plastering Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
Rafael Sandoval Sanchez
Mentone
C33 - Painting and Decorating Contractor Contracting without a license,
Illegal advertising,
Illegally dispaying license

CSLB encourages consumers to always “Check The License First” by visiting www.cslb.ca.gov or calling CSLB’s toll-free automated line 800.321.CSLB (2757). Also, visit CSLB’s website for tips about how to hire a contractor and to sign up for CSLB email alerts.

The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. More information and publications about hiring contractors are available on CSLB’s website or by calling (800) 321-CSLB (2752). You also can sign up for CSLB email alerts. CSLB licenses and regulates about 300,000 contractors in California, and is regarded as one of the leading consumer protection agencies in the United States. In fiscal year 2012-13, CSLB helped recover nearly $44 million in ordered restitution for consumers.