My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

My husband and I were served with a 30 day notice to move by landlord after deciding not to sign a new 1 year lease on a house we'd been renting for 2.5 years (raising rent & didn't need such a large home anymore). At this point we were on a month-to-month tenancy (initial lease was for 1 year). We vacated fully on day 29, landlord requested we meet 2 days later as she had meetings already. She refused at our meeting, to return keys, remotes, etc., to sign any statement we turned these over. The house was immaculate on move out (we have 74 photos of both inside and outside of home). She has been very shady from the start so we took so many photos just to be on the safe side.

We received a letter 24 days later (already violating time constraint on 21 day law) that not only was she keeping the entire deposit, but also we owed an additional $1185 for supposed damages. There were allegedly 17 items we are being charged for, but only receipts for 4 of these (2 written in her own hand but a different business name on the top of the receipt, signatures are illegible and receipts are numerically in order... dumb). We have photos in defense of any of these made up charges.

Our question: We have found out she is not even able to legally act as a property manager in CA. She manages 11 single family homes (mostly for people she has met through her husband or former neighbors) in which CA RE law states that she must either own the homes, have a valid RE license and/or work under a RE broker. She has never had a RE license, works under no broker and does not even have any type of business license whatsoever. She does have enough money for us to personally sue her for the deposit and 2 times the deposit due to her fraudulent actions. Yet, we have also learned she and her husband are in the process of going through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We don't want to sue her and win and then her to include us in the bankruptcy and we end up with a ruling - but no money back. The actual owner of the home is a local attorney and would have the funds to pay (and knew she was unlicensed). Who do we sue?? Sue them both in small claims so if she includes us in the bankruptcy we can still collect from him? Is the owner liable as he knew she was unlicensed and still used her to do this? I would assume the deposits become the property of the owner as it's their home to repair if it were ever necessary??

We know we have a strong case, but have no idea who we sue in this situation where the property manager is not legally a property manager and going through a personal bankruptcy (so we may win but get no $ back), sue just the owner, sue them both and be able to recoup one way or the other??

As a side note: we have already sent, and waited 30 days, a demand letter very detailed and letting her know we would be suing, we have photos, citing state law, she's acting illegally, etc... No answer from her.