SACRAMENTO, CA - One man has been arrested and a second suspect is sought in what the Contractors State License Board says was a scheme to defraud CSLB applicants and licensees out of money.
CSLB investigators say there have been at least 50 victims who've lost from $98 to $250 in the scam.
Two suspects, Maico Merdinand Dimla, 41, and Luis Manuel Flores, 50, are believed to have created a fraudulent business and website with a name very similar to CSLB and portrayed themselves as CSLB employees, according to a news release from the agency. CSLB applicants and licensees who contacted the site were told they needed to buy test study guides or additional courses or licensing exams - all requiring fees which had to be paid by credit card over the phone.
The investigation, which began last summer, found that even though the suspects were in Tijuana, Mexico, they had a phone number which appeared to victims as originating in the 916 Sacramento area code.
Flores was arrested in February as he crossed into the U.S. from Tijuana. He remains jailed at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center on a charge of conspiracy to cheat or defraud another person of property.
Dimla hasn't been caught. There is an arrest warrant for him and CSLB investigators think he is in Tijuana.
CSLB reminds that CSLB fees can only be paid by mail or in person at its Sacramento headquarters.