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Temecula Contractor Caught in Statewide Sweep

The contractor, whose identity has not yet been released, was arrested as part of "Operation Underground."

A Temecula contractor was one of dozens to get caught in a statewide sweep looking for contractors who allegedly under-reported payrolls to skip paying higher workers' compensation insurance and taxes.

Uninsured, untaxed, unlicensed, and unregulated activity is referred to as the underground economy, according to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

Investigators from the CSLB, Department of Insurance, and Employment Development Department partnered together for the sweeps that were conducted June 20 and 21. “Operation Underground” caught three contractors in Riverside County that were attempting to hide the number of employees on their payrolls, most likely as a way to avoid paying more in insurance premiums and state withholding taxes, officials said. 

Because of ongoing investigations into the cases, the contractors can not yet be publicly identified.

"Participants in the state’s underground economy are harmful to everyone," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands in a statement. "Anyone who neglects their responsibility to comply with state contracting, insurance, and payroll requirements drives up premiums. At the same time, legitimate licensed contractors struggle because illegal operators underbid them."

When hiring a contractor, the CSLB urges consumers to ask to see licenses and photo ID to verify identities and always check license numbers against the CSLB’s Instant License Check website to ensure that the licenses are in good standing and employees are covered by workers’ comp insurance. Also, don’t pay in cash, or before the work is completed.

TVOR July 11, 2012 at 03:47 PM
There are so damn many crooked contractors out there you don't know who you can trust.
Jessica July 11, 2012 at 05:02 PM
That is so true. I know my aunt was married to one of them. He was banned from working in CA and NV because of all the lawsuits.
TemMom951 July 11, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Unfortunately you only hear about the crooked ones which, give the good ones a bad name. The cost of doing business (Contracting) in California is soooo dang expensive. This state has the highest fees for Worker's Comp in the US. That is FACT. Some insurance companies will not insure CA Contractors so the few that will, steal from you by driving the prices up. There is NO rate reduction for not having any claims filed. It is straight across the board. So, the crappy Contractors and its Employees have basically screwed it for the rest. After the State and Fed have taken their (large) piece of the pie, there is barely enough left at the end of the job. I can understand why some have to "cheat". Let's not forget about the EPA and BOE!! They have their hands out now too, more than ever. I saw the BEST bumper sticker recently.... "Instead of Spreading My Wealth, How About Spreading My Work Ethic?"
Popeye July 11, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Find another JOB and stop the Tea Bagger whinning about Workers Comp, etc,,,,,those issues don't have any impact to the regular work force that makes 200k and above....
Carole Masson July 11, 2012 at 07:42 PM
That's why a little research on your part and good referrals from the supply house will help. All my husband's work is by referral only. Work Comp is high but, the real stickler is now they want you to pay 3mos in advance, before you have gotten any money or know how many employee hours will be needed and that was with no claims ever and always paid on time.
TemMom951 July 12, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I don't know any Contractors that make 200k and above these days. Most of those guys went under when the economy tanked. Whining about WC? You have no idea how damn expensive it is Popeye. Really. Read Carole's comment above... Oh, and find another job.... where? The "unemployment line"? Our "small business" is what keeps our economy going. How do you make your money, Popeye?
The Tree Man July 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM
What a shame when the City of San Bernardino , Ca let's people have a business lic. & sign a waver saying they won't do a job over 500.00. But in the Tree business you have to have a C- 61 to do any tree over 15' high. They tell me that's just how it is, live with it. I guess that's why San Bernardino just filed for B K. I've called the CSLB many time & like always, they say there going to go out & take care of it but NEVER does. I've been a Lic. Contractor over 50 yrs. & I can't believe the run around they give you. They want us to go do all the leg work then say, we'll be out there in a couple weeks. Lol what a joke trying to do business in Ca. DCTS
JJ Mclure July 12, 2012 at 01:39 PM
stop the fake claims by illegals
Brenda July 12, 2012 at 02:37 PM
You are correct there JJ, LOL, as much as I hate to agree. A friend owned a mfg. co. and was taken on two Work/Comp claims by illegals. BEFORE, he got the letter 3 mo. after hiring saying their social security numbers didn't match up. Its goes on for another 2 or 3 months while you send in a copy of the social security card again to find out ILLEGAL. These guys have it down to a science to get "injured" within days of the first letter AND it keeps them in the country. Even with pictures of them going back and forth to Mexico, playing on baseball leagues, other pictures tumbling around with other guys and kids, playing soccer, these guys had attorneys, got paid the weekly checks, all doctors bills, continued to add more things, sinus's, ears, any and everything. Then stress for having their pictures taken by investigators both here and in Mexico, LOL. Not a darn thing the friend could do, and both ended up with around 50k settlements after open cases for like 3 yrs. Raising his workers comp to a high risk after years of no claims, or very minor ones, and it nearly drove him out of business, also having to put in a large deposit. How in the world they can get away with this stuff is remarkable. Its sad that we loose companies daily due to the rip off costs to run one, more out of work. :/ You have to run a business to know exactly how much it costs in every possible fee, taxes on everything, operating licenses. Also Pops, what regular work force makes 200k?
Brenda July 12, 2012 at 02:45 PM
If our spectacular Government would respond to our problems like an accountant or from a business mans view point we would not be in the position we are in. Simple, if we lower all these costs, fee's, taxes, operating licenses for every type of machinery that puts out a puff of exhaust(LOL), workers compensation costs, payroll taxes, just everything, most people could make their business's profitable and work, keep people employed. Also new companies could open and afford to stay in business, creating more jobs. The Government would still collect all the same amount of "MONEY" and at the same time provide jobs and help our economy overall in the big picture. But, no, they think like politicians. The more they charge for all these things through City, Country, State, Federal fee's, the more companies close, the more unemployed we have, and unfortunately the more illegal activity goes on like these contractors willing to try anything to just stay in business for Godsake. I seriously doubt this man wanted to lie on figures, and I serious doubt it made him a millionaire, but did manage to keep him and a few workers in business and with a job. This is just a sad story, not some already corrupt CEO making millions a year trying to make millions more. :/
No Incumbents July 15, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Clearly the powers that be are doing all in their power to eliminate our jobs and the means for anyone to earn a living, That is the preparation to force the American Citizens to become slaves of the Government. They are purposely eliminated the middle class and building Fema camps like crazy.
KB July 16, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Check yelp for contractor ratings.

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