Contractors Who “Cheat to Compete” Face Stiff Penalties

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(New partnership targets offenders in the multi-billion dollar underground economy)

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) already is seeing results from a new multi-agency partnership that targets individuals who are breaking the law and making it increasingly difficult for law-abiding licensed contractors to compete for business. CSLB estimates that on any given day, tens of thousands of licensed contractors and unlicensed operators are breaking the law and contributing to the state’s underground economy. These individuals and companies will be at the top of the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) target list. 

LETF, which was launched January 1, 2012, is comprised of investigators from CSLB, the Department of Industrial Relations, Employment Development Department, and Board of Equalization, in collaboration with the Insurance Commissioner and Attorney General’s Office. Partners have broadened information-sharing and the use of new enforcement technology to improve the way they target businesses in the underground economy.

“Contractors need to understand that they can’t cheat to compete,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “By combining our resources and sharing information like never before, we will target and find the worst offenders, licensed or not.”

Teams of investigators are already working side-by-side and have conducted 16 targeted enforcement operations throughout the state since January 2012 that have resulted in dozens of citations and thousands of dollars in fines. The operations are not limited to weekdays. At least one has taken place on a weekend and more weekend operations are on the calendar.

A recent operation in Orange County resulted in legal actions against a long-time illegal operator. Benito German Lopez Cruz, 47, of Orange, is believed to have underbid legitimate contractors on plastering jobs by hundreds of thousands of dollars during the past several years. A CSLB investigator cited Lopez for contracting without a license and failing to secure workers’ compensation insurance for three employees who were working with him. The citation comes with $4,500 in fines. The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement issued Lopez a stop order (that prohibits the use of employee labor until they are covered by workers’ compensation insurance) and citations for $7,750 in fines for failure to carry workers’ compensation and for paying employees in cash. Lopez also will be audited by the Employment Development Department.

A criminal case settled last week highlights the severe consequences of these types of business and contracting violations. On February 24, 2012, Michael Amzie Holley, 43, of Murrieta, was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay $510,000 in restitution for failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance for an injured employee and failing to pay insurance premiums for unclaimed employees who were paid in cash. In 2009, CSLB revoked the contractor license of So Cal Roofing Company (#797707), owned by Holley. The criminal activity came to light after an incident in March 2003, when one of Holley’s employees fell off of a roof and was injured. When that employee filed a workers’ compensation insurance claim, Holley denied that the injured employee worked for him. He also had filed paperwork with CSLB certifying that he had no employees.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, in February 2010 Holley agreed to plead guilty to multiple felony counts associated with insurance and tax fraud.     Holley purchased a minimum workers’ compensation policy from the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) and failed to state that he employed subcontractors, paid workers in cash to hide the fact that So Cal Roofing Company had workers, hired unlicensed employees, and leased employees from other companies. He received insurance based on his false declarations, allowing him to underpay his insurance premiums. In addition, to hide the fraud and to avoid paying state taxes, Holley failed to file an accurate tax return.

In addition to construction, LETF addresses illegal activity in the agricultural, automotive, garment, restaurant, and warehouse industries.

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J. David Rauch Bio

Dave Rauch is the Founder and President of ProTec Building Services (ProTec). He ensures that work quality is consistent.  Dave maintains a consistent presence within the company.  While managing the growth of ProTec, he strives to improve everything that ProTec does, especially exceeding client expectations.  At Mr. Rauch’s previous company he designed the original HOA manual and monthly building maintenance programs specific for each HOA. In 1996 Dave opened ProTec, which now provides maintenance programs to over 600 communities and other services to 2,000 communities.

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George Van Oosbree is the Senior Vice President and Director of Operations in Nevada. He has been a manager with ProTec for 17 years. He holds a California/Nevada General Contractors and painting license; as well as, certifications in Playground Safety and SWPPP. He is also a United States Green Building Counsel LEED Accredited Professional and EPA Certified Lead Renovator.  Developers rely on George’s knowledge (nearly 100 High-rise and Mid-rise Projects) and 30 years of experience to construct sustainable and maintainable projects.

Andy Henley Bio

With over 20 years’ experience in construction management and janitorial, Andy knows what it takes to repair and maintain your largest asset, your homes and common areas at your community. Not only will Andy provide unparalleled customer service for all ProTec’s work but he will ensure that all jobs and service exceed client expectations. Call Andy and request to meet at your community. He will walk your community, detailing what maintenance and repairs are needed to keep your property values increasing.

Candy Allen Bio

ProTec’s controller, Candy Allen, has over two decades of experience in accounting and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the executive team.  Candy also has extensive HR, office management and organizational skills derived from her years of experience in the service industry.  What truly sets Candy apart from her peers is her energy and zeal to get the job/challenge done correctly and immediately.  She’ll explain that her success comes from devoting herself to creating a team environment in which the company can accurately track and maintain their various business and accounting systems.  Teamwork, honesty and hard work are all core elements of Candy’s work ethic.

Laura Swirski Bio

As ProTec’s Human Resources Manager, Laura Swirski, brings knowledge and experience in HR and Organizational Development from a variety of industries ranging from property management, non-profit, government, public utility, and hospitality.  Laura enjoys an employee focused and hands-on approach to HR.  She believes employees are a company’s most important resource.  An organization is successful when employees are in the right job and are involved, committed, and work together toward shared goals.  Laura is conscientious, a hard worker, and desires to learn, improve, and make a difference.

Fernando Urrea Bio

Fernando Urrea began his ProTec career in 2009. After a short leave he returned to ProTec in 2014 as the San Diego Maintenance Division Manager. He holds a General Contractors License; as well as, EPA Certified Lead Renovator. Fernando worked at Standard Pacific Homes and Pacific Bay Homes in the San Diego Divisions and has over 15 years’ experience in new home construction management. While working in Military Housing for 10 years he was able get hands on experience on all trades and management skills. His new home building and maintenance knowledge are unparalleled and is what makes Fernando a great asset.

Mark Adams Bio

Fascinated by construction from an early age, Mark developed the skills and knowledge to construct and repair any building. Prior to ProTec, Mark honed his skills at Quality Built Consulting on construction defects/diagnostics nationally. Mark is a licensed California General Contractor and a certified applicator in Excellent Coatings (Waterproof Coatings), SIKA Products (Sealants), PROTECTO Wrap (Waterproof Membranes) and Superkrete (Overlay Concrete Systems). Mark has been a manager at ProTec for 15 years and is the top HOA estimator in San Diego County. He prides himself on being able to assist HOA Boards and Community Managers resolve any type of repair or construction project.

Lee Sterling Bio

While attending Arizona State University pursuing a degree in engineering, Lee Sterling enlisted in the United States Army prior to Desert Storm. After completing his service he began working in the property service industry. Duly licensed as a Building (B1) and Roofing (C39) contractor, Lee rose through the ranks of the industry becoming the Division Manager and acting Chief Engineer for properties in San Diego, Irvine and Brea. His commitment to quality and superior service has earned him recommendations from his peers, clients and customers.

Cesar Ibarra Bio

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Paul Mayeski Bio

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Chris McHenry Bio

Chris has over 25 years of construction experience in the residential and commercial industries. He has done everything hands on from operate heavy equipment, ro build and remodel custom homes, and commercial tenant improvements. He started working in his family’s business building custom homes during the summers in high school. He moved on as a Project Manager for an apartment maintenance construction company in Rancho Santa Margarita. He proceeded to get his contractor’s license and owned his own company for 7 years. Chris also holds the positions of superintendent on a high rise construction project and Project Manager with an industrial/commercial company.

Sal Mendoza Bio

Salvador Mendoza is our Los Angeles regional manager for ProTec Building Services. Since starting with the Company in 2008 he has devoted himself to the challenging world of maintenance for mid and high rise buildings. Salvador’s past experiences of running his family owned construction business, along with his real estate and mortgage banking experience, provide him with a unique perspective within our industry. He has a created the company’s first Planned Maintenance Contract (PMC), which allows for a custom annual maintenance calendar of the building components for each individual building, enabling clients to plan ahead and have an annual maintenance budget

Mirzet Velic Bio

As ProTec’s Vista Maintenance Division Manager, Mirzet brings immense experience in the HOA industry and knowledge of maintenance, repair and construction methodology. Mirzet joined ProTec in 2006 as an Account Manager.  Prior to ProTec he honed his experience at All American Construction as a Maintenance Technician.  With over 15 years of experience in contract management, construction, electrical, and property management Mirzet can solve any technical problem. However, Mirzet’s true tour de force is his Customer Centric service model; he takes care of clients’ needs before they even know they have a need. 

Timothy (Ty) Haisch Bio

Ty is ProTec’s Construction Division Manager for the North County San Diego region, working out of the Vista office.  Ty joined ProTec in 2010 as a Project Supervisor.  He has moved up in the management ranks due to his excellent work record, supervisory skills, hard-work and dedication to getting jobs done in a timely manner that have made him a “go-to” manager at ProTec.  Prior to joining ProTec, Ty was a manager at TDT Construction.  Yes, Ty has many years of experience, but it is mostly his excitement with solving complex problems, that cause Ty to stand out among his peers.  Ty loves challenges and will happily solve our clients most vexing or technical problem(s).

John T. (JT) Anderson Bio

John learned the value of hard work at his family business at the early age of 5, where he started out as a janitor.  He went on to learn additional trades and skills, where he eventually left the business world to attend college at The University of Hawaii and the University of Utah.  He received his degree in Political Science and Business.  After moving to San Diego in 2004 he founded Elite Services, which provided building services to Commercial and HOA clients.  In 2016, John saw an opportunity to join the ProTec team where he has put his many talents to work, expanding ProTec’s list of 172 services and engaging new clients.