Investigators in California have caught 112 unlicensed contractors in a sting targeting illegal home repairs in seven cities. All 112 suspects may face misdemeanor charges for contracting without a license.
The agency said eleven of those arrested are repeat offenders, five had outstanding warrants, two were on probation and one was a registered sex offender.
Fifteen of the 112 who were cited live in the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas.
“Our undercover investigators pose as a homeowner, and we ask them just like another homeowner to come out and give us a bid for a specific job,” says Rick Lopes with the Contractors State License Board. “If the bid totals more than $500 for the total job, at that point they need to have a contractors license. We ask them if they have one, if not then we place them under arrest,” says Lopes.
According to a release from the California Contractors State License Board, the following suspects are accused of contracting without a license and/or illegal advertising:
Cesar Recinos Castros of Cathedral City
Miguel Rubio Lua of Indio
Levi Scott Toensing of Yucca Valley
Roberto Gonzalez Jr. of Desert Hot Springs
Paul Andrew Sanchez of Palm Springs
Jose Ventura Vazquez-Macias of Palm Springs
Brian Patrick McCue of Fontana
Glen Richard Miller of Cathedral City
Cesar Ricardo Escobar of Cathedral City
Charley Everett Kennedy II of Coachella
Paul Craig Woltze of Redlands
Juan Victor Cruz of Indio
Alan Sylvia of Cathedral City
Ricardo Adolfo Rossbach of Desert Hot Springs
Michael Mark Vancura of Banning
The two-day sting operation took place at the beginning of November in Rancho Mirage, Alahambra, Aptos, Castro Valley, Chula Vista, Montecito and West Sacramento. Investigators said they posed as homeowners looking for contracting work.
“When you are looking to find someone to come out to your house and give a bid, if you are looking at an advertisement, you want to see if it has a contractors license number on it,” says Lopes. “If it doesn’t, that should be a sign to you that they are not licensed.”
The suspects will appear in court on February 4 and February 5 at 8:30 a.m. at Riverside County Superior Court in Indio to face the allegations, according to the California Contractors State License Board.