A Pasco County man was arrested last week and is charged with numerous infractions related to doing repair work without a license. George Edward Montague, 36, was arrested January 8 and charged with seven felony counts of failure to obtain workers compensation coverage, one felony count of scheme to defraud, five counts of contracting without a license, and two counts of petit theft.
Montague, who had been fired from an air conditioning repair company, is accused of approaching five people in Bayonet Point, New Port Richey, and Port Richey about doing work on their air conditioning units. The New Port Richey man represented himself as an employee of the company from which he had been fired. Montague also allegedly approached two people to do lawn work. He collected money up front in both cases and never returned. Montague remains in the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center with $45,000 bond.
Homeowners, please be careful who you hire for work on your residence. Do not trust someone who knocks on your door and offers to do work on your home unsolicited. Beware of those claiming to have skills to fix a malfunctioning or nonworking piece of equipment or offer to do landscaping work. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit as well as the Pasco County Unlicensed Contracting Investigations section look into cases of unlicensed contractors as well as claims against licensed contractors.
To find out if someone is a licensed contractor call the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at (866) 532-1440.