Tuesday , February 20 2024

Undercover sting nabs 16 contractors

An undercover sting operation by the Contractors State License Board in Coarsegold on Oct. 15 and 16 resulted in citations for 16 contractors suspected of operating without a license and other violations.

Four of the contractors tried to pass off the license number of family members and one was a registered sex offender, the board said in a news release Tuesday.

“Contractor licenses are not transferrable between anyone — associates, friends — family members included,” said Steve Sands, the board registrar.

The Statewide Investigative Fraud Team posed as homeowners at a house near the Yosemite Lakes community where they solicited bids for landscaping, tree service, painting, concrete and electrical work.

The bids ranged from about $900 to $6,000 for a landscaping project. In California, home improvement jobs valued at $500 or more must be performed by a company or person with a license, the board said.

On Oct. 15, investigators cited tree service contractors Gary James Smith of Coarsegold, Javier Perez Torres of Fresno, Nicolas Justo Torres of Fresno, Martin Ruben Rios of Midpines; painting and decorating contractors Joey Allen Brown of Fresno, Gilberto Garcia-Acosta of Clovis; landscaper Bonifacio Solano Rivas of Coarsegold; concrete contractor Pablo Sergio Leon-Saldana of Fresno; and general building contractor John Patrick Skinner of Raymond.

Investigators on Oct. 16 cited painting and decorating contractors Jesse Christopher Giovingo of Coarsegold, Brian Keith Mullen of Tulare, Michael James Harper of Clovis; electrical contractor David Taylor Sheets of Clovis; landscapers Daniel Everett Chesterman of North Fork, Stephanie Marie Orcutt of North Fork; and tree service contractor Juan Alapisco of Madera.

All 16 contractors were cited for contracting without a license. Other violations include illegal advertising, working with no worker’s compensation insurance and stop work orders.

Giovanni, Sheets, Chesterman and Orcutt were cited on a criminal charge of displaying a contractors license number that did not belong them. They claimed to be working on a relative’s contractor license, the board said.

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  1. Seems incredible that some people still try to get away with not getting licensed. it’s so easy to get it.

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