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Drought Resistant Landscaping New Target for Illegal Contractors in Rancho Murieta CSLB Sting

Undercover operation sends 11 to court for illegal, unlicensed home improvement contracting

“The state drought, and the desire of property owners to conserve water in and around their homes, has provided illegal operators with a new angle,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands following an undercover sting operation conducted by the Contractors State License Board’s (CSLB) Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT). The one-day sting was conducted in the gated community of Rancho Murieta on January 16, 2014, with assistance from the Department of Consumer Affairs Division of Investigation.


A $3,800 bid was given to investigators for drought-resistant landscaping by an unlicensed operator, a bid that far exceeded the legal limit of $500 in combined labor and materials charges for those who are unlicensed and working in the construction industry.
SWIFT investigators caught 11 individuals engaged in illegal contracting after seeking bids for exterior painting, fencing, and landscaping jobs. Each faces misdemeanor charges for contracting without a license (Business and Professions Code section 7028).

Nine suspects face additional charges for illegal advertising (Business and Professions Code section 7027.1). Contractors must place their license number in all advertisements. Those without a license may advertise to do jobs valued at less than $500, but the ads must state that they are not a licensed contractor.

“Try not to make a rushed decision,” added Sands. “Get multiple bids and check the contractor license on the CSLB website before hiring anyone to work on your property.”

Penalties for a first conviction for contracting without a license are up to six months in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines. A second conviction mandates 90 days in jail and up to a year and up to $5,000 in fines. A third conviction also has a mandatory 90-day jail sentence and fines up to $10,000.

The following suspects received notices to appear (NTAs) in Sacramento County Superior Court and will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. on March 27, 2014, 720 9th Street, in Sacramento.

Paul Jon Shuey, Rancho Murieta, C33 - Painting and Decorating, Contracting without a license,Illegal advertising.

Thanh Nguyen, Elk Grove, C27 - Landscaping, Contracting without a license, Illegal advertising.

Dave Marriott, Sacramento, C27 - Landscaping, Contracting without a license, Illegal advertising.

Dustin Lee Arana, Sacramento, C33 - Painting and Decorating, Contracting without a license, Illegal advertising.

Juan Manual Solares Cardona, Elk Grove, C27 - Landscaping, Contracting without a license, Illegal advertising.

Terrance Martin Lindner, Orangevale, C13 - Fencing, Contracting without a license, Illegal advertising.

Phillip Allen Page, Sacramento, C27 - Landscaping, Contracting without a license, Illegal advertising.

Philip Oh Kwon,  Rancho Cordova C33 - Painting and Decorating, Contracting without a license

Sergey Dubyaga,  Antelope C33 - Painting and Decorating,  Contracting without a license, Illegal advertising

Sergio Garcia,  Sloughhouse C27 - Landscaping,  Contracting without a license, Illegal advertising

David Michael Kunce,  Rancho Murieta C33 - Painting and Decorating,    Contracting without a license

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