An undercover sting operation on April 9 by the Contractors State License Board and El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office led to citations for 11 suspects.
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The CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team conducted the sting at an El Dorado Hills home, arresting Ryan Kendall Murray, of Rancho Cordova, for an outstanding DUI warrant and citing him and nine other suspects for alleged contracting without a license, a press release stated. Allegedly, Murray’s license was expired and he made false Workers’ Compensation insurance claims.
Other suspects in the case were found on advertisement flyers and cards at local businesses. Undercover CSLB agents solicited the contractors for concrete, roofing, tree trimming and landscaping bids.
“Homeowners should not assume business cards and advertisements posted at familiar, local businesses will lead them to legally licensed contractors,” CSLB Registrar Steve Sands said. “Hiring an unlicensed, and often uninsured, individual to work at your home or business can put you at serious financial risk, especially if a worker is injured on your property.”
Ten of the 11 suspects were cited for misdemeanor contracting without a license, which carries a first-conviction penalty of up to six months in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
Eight of the suspects face misdemeanor charges of false advertising.
Unlicensed contractors are allowed to advertise so long as they do not claim to be licensed and the project does not cost more than $500 in materials and labor.
The other suspects are as follows: Jesus Vazquez-Magdaleno of Placerville, Matthew William Nelson of El Dorado Hills, Matthew Munro Miller of Cameron Park, Juan Francisco Navarrete of West Sacramento, David J. Stagg of Davis, Jason Tony Bays of Placerville, Timothy Mitchell Treadway of Somerset and Darryl Dean Miller of Somerset were alleged to be contracting without a license and illegal advertising; Michael E. Gioukaris of Citrus Heights was charged with being an unregistered home improvement salesperson; and Dennis Lee Kaufman Jr. of Citrus Heights was charged with contracting without a license.
By law, all contract jobs totaling more that $500 in materials and labor must be done by a CSLB-licensed contractor. A check can be done on a contractor at the CSLB’s Website at cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/CheckLicense.aspx.