A three-week investigation targeting unlicensed contractors resulted in 96 administrative citations and fines totaling $543,000, according to a Wednesday announcement by Francine Giani, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce.

The investigation, conducted by Utah’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, or DOPL, occurred between June 3 and June 21 and corresponded with coordinated investigations in nine other states and the District of Columbia.

“Unlicensed contractors hurt homeowners and business owners with fraud, shoddy work, and liability issues as well as taking away business from Utah licensees who follow the law,” Giani said in a prepared statement.

Giani added that a contractor’s license and disciplinary history can be checked online at the DOPL website, www.dopl.utah.gov.

The department’s announcement said that investigators conducted a sting operation focused on unlicensed activity occurring on classified ads, social media and other online platforms.

In a prepared statement, DOPL Director Mark Steinagel said the investigation spanned the state to address unlicensed activity in urban and rural areas.

“The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing takes all forms of fraud seriously,” Steinagel said, "as it harms legitimate licensed professionals, Utah businesses, consumers and our state economy.”