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Unlicensed Contractors Targeted In Lawndale Sting

03/15/2013

A two day undercover operation on March 13 and 14, targeting unlicensed contractors in the City of Lawndale, resulted in 13 arrests.

The operation, which was conducted by the Contractors' State License Board, in conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, was part of an on-going effort by law enforcement and the Contractors' State License Board to prevent homeowners from being taken advantage of by illegal contractors.

Unlicensed contractors commonly offer their services at a rate well below legitimate contractors, which sometimes makes this an enticing proposition for someone considering home improvements. However, people who utilize unlicensed contractors are taking a tremendous risk. In addition to the fact that most unlicensed contractors are uninsured, many homeowners who use illegal contractors hand over large sums of money as a "deposit," only to never see them again. If they do return, there is little guarantee that the work will be completed or meet industry standards.

Property owners considering improvement projects should always consult the Contractors State License Board's online instant license check to ensure the contractor license is in good standing. By law, all home improvement jobs totaling $500 or more in combined labor and material costs in California must be undertaken by a Contractors State License Board licensed contractor. Also remember that most municipalities, including the City of Lawndale have local ordinances requiring contractors to be licensed.

As for the operation in Lawndale, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lieutenant John Hocking said, "The sting operation was so successful that investigators had six contractors detained at one time. We want to ensure that the citizens of Lawndale are protected against illegal contractors. The Sheriff's Department appreciates the hard work of the Contractors' State License Board and Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

South Los Angeles Sheriff's Station

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Sheriff Leroy D. Baca

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