“If there is one characteristic that defines me, it is my belief in human dignity, my belief that my client's life is just as important now as it was on the day they were born.” - Michael Guisti

Tap to Call (888) 478-8999
Our Legal Team Is Standing By
Home blog Criminal Defense Undercover Operation Leads to 14 Arrests of Unlicensed Contractors in Costa Mesa

Undercover Operation Leads to 14 Arrests of Unlicensed Contractors in Costa Mesa

By Michael Guisti on February 20, 2015

Costa Mesa, CA — At times professional licenses and permits can seem like burdensome red tape. However, when you’re paying for a service you want to be sure that the work will be done by someone who has met a certain standard of competence. That’s one of the reasons why attorneys need to pass the bar exam and doctors need a license to practice. It’s also why general contractors are required to be licensed by the state to perform work costing $500 or more.

A recent undercover operation in Costa Mesa led to 14 arrests this month on charges of contracting without a license and illegal advertising. The investigation was carried out by the Contractors State License Board, the Orange County District Attorney, as well as Costa Mesa police and code enforcement officers.

The sting targeted contractors who were suspected of operating without a license from various parts of southern California. Investigators posed as homeowners in the South Coast Plaza area and sought bids on a construction project. 14 of the contractors who responded were found to be operating without a license. All of the contractors arrested in the sting have been charged with contracting without a license and of those 12 have been charged with illegal advertising because their ads did not specify that they were not licensed, and 13 have received citations because they did not have a Costa Mesa business license.

According to an official with the city, the operation was carried out because of an increased number of complaints from residents about subpar or even incomplete work done by unlicensed contractors. All of the charges in this case were misdemeanors.

California has a number of regulations that businesses must comply with. Some violations will only result in fines or citations, but sometimes they can lead to actual criminal charges. No matter what kind of charges you’re facing, if you’ve been accused of a crime the best thing that you can do is a hire a criminal defense attorney.

At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we’ve been practicing law in Orange County’s state and federal courts for over 16 years, and in that time, we’ve built a strong reputation for having the charges against our clients reduced or dismissed. We all know the kinds of social stigma that are attached to a criminal conviction, which is why our attorneys are so passionate about giving all of our clients the best possible defense. We’ve successfully defended clients against charges like fraud, theft, domestic violence, murder, and assault.

Being charged with a crime can be a terrible ordeal, particularly if you’re going through it alone. Which is why an Orange County criminal attorney can be such a great help to you. At our firm, we work hard to ensure our clients’ peace of mind. Our friendly staff is available 24/7 to address your concerns and answer your questions. And our award-winning defense lawyers will help you navigate the various hearings and proceedings involved in bringing case to trial or having charges dropped.

With offices in Irvine, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and Newport Beach, our firm is able to better serve Orange County’s diverse local communities and courthouses. As part of our commitment to providing a welcoming atmosphere for all of our clients we also offer foreign language assistance if necessary.

So if you’ve been charged with a crime in Orange County, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 707-2797 for a free consultation.


Graham, Jordan. “14 unlicensed contractors arrested in Costa Mesa sting operation.” http://www.ocregister.com/articles/contractors-651598-license-mesa.html. Orange County Register. 18 February 2015.

Related Articles

Posted in: Criminal Defense

Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

(714) 530-9690

Payment options available:

Payment options available:


Read Our Important Announcement About COVID-19

Dear valued clients, due to the COVID-19 virus and out of respect for the community, our office is offering our services remotely via phone and video. Please call or email us through our web contact form and we would be happy to discuss your case. Watch Michael L. Guisti's COVID-19 Public Service Announcement.

Schedule My Consultation