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Enforcement Agencies Find Millions Of Dollars In Construction Underground

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier this year, California contractors applauded the creation of the Joint Enforcement Strike Force's (JESF) Construction Enforcement Project (CEP) by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), which was designed to break down silos among state agencies and take advantage of partnerships. Specifically, the CEP capitalized on partnerships among 21 CSLB investigators, 21 Employment Development Department (EDD) agents, the California Department of Insurance and 19 counties based on their availability to provide district attorney investigators and building officials. The coordinated efforts of the agencies have produced significant results, including but not limited to: 411 audit referrals for an estimated $48,553,626 in unreported wages; $25,832,017 in EDD and Franchise Tax Board outstanding tax and civil liability suspension amounts with $10,815,762 in penalties recovered; $17, 705, 752 in EDD tax and civil liability suspensions with $6,626, 208 in recovered tax liability; and additional license liability suspensions by the Department of Industrial Relations totaling $1,972,328 with $1,835,869 in penalties recovered. But according to California contractors throughout the state, more needs to be done.

"Legitimate contractors in California appreciate the emphasis on construction," said Brad Diede, California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors Executive Director. "In our opinion, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Continued focus on the construction industry will yield millions more in recovered penalties and tax revenue for the state while simultaneously ensuring legitimate taxpaying contractors get the work."

The goals of CEP were to issue stop orders to uninsured employers;  reduce owner-builder permits; increase joint enforcement presence with participating counties; target contractors that intentionally evade payroll taxes; and increase criminal filings for license and insurance violations.

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