California Contractor PACE Fraud Defense Attorney
The California Contractors State License Board, or CSLB, vigorously investigates and disciplines Contractors accused of Fraud in the PACE Program. The PACE program acronym stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy. An allegation of PACE Program Fraud can have profound consequences. Consequences can include CSLB Contractor License discipline and even criminal charges.
There are currently twelve active PACE Programs in the State of California. The active PACE Programs are:
- AllianceNRG Program
- Commercial PACE Direct (Cleanfund)
- Energy Efficient Equity
- Figtree Financing
- Greenfinance San Francisco
- HERO Program
- LA County Commercial PACE Program
- PACE Funding
- Samas Capital Pace
- Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP)
The three most well known PACE Programs are HERO, Ygrene and CaliforniaFIRST. San Diego, California based Renovate America operates the HERO Program. Ygrene Energy Fund of Petaluma, California operates the Ygrene Program. Oakland, California based Renew Financial operates the CaliforniaFIRST Program. California Contractors facing PACE Program Fraud allegations should contact an experienced California CSLB License Defense Attorney for representation.
California Contractors State License Board PACE Program Fraud Investigation Defense Lawyer
The majority of California CSLB Investigations begin with the filing of a consumer Complaint. However, California Contractors State License Board PACE Investigations also occur through sting operations and criminal investigations. The California Contractors State License Board utilizes non sworn civilian investigators (Enforcement Representatives) to conduct non criminal investigations. CSLB also employs sworn Peace Officer Investigators to conduct criminal PACE Fraud investigations against Contractors. These employees investigate criminal and administrative law violations related to PACE Program Fraud committed by Contractors against customers. Administrative Law Due Process Rights differ substantially from the Due Process Rights accorded in criminal law.
CSLB Investigations related to PACE Program Fraud (particularly HERO and Ygrene) often occur for the following reasons:
- Elder Financial Abuse
- Excessive Telemarketing and Canvassing
- Misrepresentation of PACE Program to Obtain Contract
- Willful and Fraudulent Act
- Unregistered Home Improvement Salesperson
It is important to have an attorney that understands issues faced by Contractors facing disciplinary action for PACE Fraud. At the conclusion of a CSLB investigation, the Board has several options. The Board can choose to close the Complaint. The Board can choose to issue a Citation. The Board can also choose to refer the matter to the California Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office will determine whether cause exists to file a formal disciplinary Accusation. In PACE Fraud cases involving criminal conduct, the Board may refer the case to the District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.
If you are a Contractor facing a California Contractors State License Board Investigation for PACE Fraud, contact a California CSLB Defense Attorney for representation.
California Contractor License PACE Fraud Accusation Defense Attorney
A formal Accusation served on a California Contractor serves as notice to a Contractor that the CSLB intends to revoke the Contractor License. A substantiated allegation of PACE Fraud against by a Contractor almost always results in the filing of a disciplinary Accusation.
An Accusation is a serious matter that can result in the suspension or revocation of a Contractor License in California. In many cases, it is possible for Contractors to reach a Stipulated Agreement with the Attorney General’s Office and CSLB. A Stipulated Agreement is a formal term for a settlement agreement. If a Stipulated Agreement cannot be reached, the parties will proceed to a formal Hearing before the California Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).
Disciplinary Accusations involving PACE Fraud against a Contractor can result in revocation of a Contractors License by the CSLB. Contractors facing a CSLB Accusation should contact an experienced California Contractor License Defense Attorney for representation. Common causes of action for disciplinary Accusations against Contractors include:
California Contractor License Hearing For PACE Fraud
The California Office of Administrative Hearings, also known as OAH, maintains several Court Hearing locations. These Court locations are in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and San Diego. In some instances, Hearings may be held offsite in Bakersfield, Fresno, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Jose or Ventura. The Administrative Law Hearing is a formal Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
The Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ, will issue a written Proposed Decision approximately 30 days after the Hearing. The CSLB can adopt, modify or reject the ALJ’s Proposed Decision. The CSLB’s action is called the Final Decision and Order. There are two main rights of Appeal of a Final Decision and Order. California Government Code § 11521 allows a Contractor to file a Petition for Reconsideration prior to the effective date of the Final Decision and Order. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 1094.5, the Contractor can also file a Petition for Writ of Mandamus in Superior Court. A Writ must be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the Final Decision and Order.
California Contractors facing a CSLB Administrative Law Hearing need effective representation from a California Contractor License Defense Lawyer.
California Contractor PACE,HERO and Ygrene Fraud and Criminal Charges
The CSLB can discipline Contractors for PACE Fraud allegations that rises to the level of criminal activity, but violates an Administrative Law regulation. The CSLB disciplinary process is separate from the Criminal Law process. The CSLB can discipline Contractors for certain criminal convictions. CSLB Contractor discipline occurs for criminal convictions that are substantially related to the duties, functions and qualifications of a Contractor. All PACE Fraud crimes involving Contractors are substantially related to the duties, functions and qualifications of a Contractor
The CSLB and other law enforcement agencies often conduct criminal investigations against Contractors for the types of PACE Fraud described above. In serious criminal cases against Contractors pending in Criminal Court, the CSLB and the California Attorney General’s Office may seek a California Penal Code § 23 Order against the Contractor. A California Penal Code § 23 Order seeks to suspend a Contractor License in Criminal Court.
Contractors facing criminal charges and Contractors who are convicted of criminal offenses need an experienced California Contractor License Defense Attorney for representation in disciplinary proceedings before the CSLB.