CSLB Cites Repeat Offender in Amador County Sting


Increased penalties and fines are possible when unlicensed contracting charges are ignored

SACRAMENTO - Breaking state contracting laws has once again caught up with a Stockton area offender with a history of unlicensed contracting activity that dates back to 2014. The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) again caught Alberto Yanez in an undercover sting operation last week in Amador County. Yanez and seven other suspects were cited for illegal contracting and illegal advertising.

Partnering with the Amador County District Attorney's Office, SWIFT investigators set up a sting operation on April 9-10 at a single-family home in Sutter Creek, near Sutter Creek Elementary school. Investigators posed as residents looking for help with home improvement projects. They received bids for fencing, sheet rock, roofing and other outdoor work. Bids ranged from $1,800 for painting the home to $20,000 for the installation of artificial turf, well above the legal threshold for work that requires a contractor license.

In California, it's illegal for an unlicensed person to perform any contracting work on a project valued at $500 or more in combined labor and material costs. As a result, the eight suspects could now face a misdemeanor charge of contracting without a license (Business and Professions Code (BPC) §7028(a)). First-conviction penalties include up to six months in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines.

Yanez's criminal history with CSLB began in 2014, when he was cited for contracting without a license and illegal advertising. In 2015, Yanez got in trouble with the law again, taking advantage of an elderly homeowner and performing repairs on her residence without her permission. Yanez pleaded guilty to unlicensed contracting, with criminal elder abuse enhancements, and received a sentence of one year in county jail. Because Yanez has been convicted on serious charges in the past, he may face stricter penalties for illegal contracting and illegal advertising citations in this recent Amador County sting.

"Many unlicensed individuals know they're breaking the law," said CSLB Registrar David Fogt. "They aren't going to tell you. That's why it's so important for consumers to ask for license information and check the details on our website before hiring them."

Consumers can perform an "instant license check" on CSLB's website by searching by a contractor's name, their business, or their license number. Homeowners can also get a list of licensed contractors in their area by using the "find my licensed contractor" feature to search by city or ZIP code.

During the Amador County sting, seven other suspects were also cited for illegal advertising. Licensed contractors must display their license number in all advertisements and unlicensed contractors must state in all ads that they do not have a license (BPC §7027.1). The penalty for violating the advertising rules for unlicensed contractors is a fine of $700 to $1,000.

In addition, three of the bidders required an excessive down payment before starting work and were also written-up for that violation. It is illegal for contractors to ask for more than 10 percent down or $1,000, whichever is less (BPC §7159.5 (a)(3)(b)).

All suspects were ordered to appear on a date yet to be determined at the Amador County Superior Court, 500 Argonaut Lane, Jackson, CA 95642.

NOTE: All suspects are presumed innocent until their case is resolved.

SUTTER CREEK DAY 1 – APRIL 9, 2019
SUSPECT NAME
CITY OF RESIDENCE
LICENSE CLASSIFICATION ALLEGED VIOLATION
Viktor Perepelistyn
Sacramento
C-33 Painting & Decorating Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Joseph Ferriero
Sacramento
C-13 Fencing Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising,
Excessive down payment
Marce Ferriero
Sacramento
C-13 Fencing Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising,
Excessive down payment
Robert Moore
Sacramento
C-13 Fencing Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Alberto Yanez
Stockton
C-33 Painting & Decorating Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising

SUTTER CREEK DAY 2 – APRIL 10, 2019
SUSPECT NAME
CITY OF RESIDENCE
LICENSE CLASSIFICATION ALLEGED VIOLATION
David Little
Plymouth
C-6 Cabinet & Carpentry Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising
Christopher Ross
Rancho Murieta
C-61/D-12 Synthetic Products Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising,
Excessive down payment
Roman Volkov
West Sacramento
C-39 Roofing Contractor Contracting Without a License,
Illegal Advertising

The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. CSLB licenses and regulates almost 290,000 contractors in California and is regarded as one of the leading consumer protection agencies in the United States. In fiscal year 2017-18, CSLB helped recover over $50 million in ordered restitution for consumers.


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