11 men were arrested and charged with illegally posing as a contractor.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office contracted the men via Craigslist and newspaper ads and asked them to come to a home, which was actually the sting. Then, the individuals offered proposals to perform various construction type work at the residence, including installing a hot water heater. BUSTED! You need proper licensing for that. Here is a complete list of the men arrest in the sting:
- Scott Christopher Whitby
- Michael Paul Quinn
- Jose Calleja
- Earl Alexander King
- Christopher Joseph Zullo
- Alphonzo Marcellas Ivory
- Steven M. Rodriguez
- Robert Morgan Dyer
- Angel Luna
- Edwin James Taylor
- Kenneth C. Baker
Here are some typical problems with unlicensed contractors:
- Poor qualifications. Unlicensed individuals have no demonstrated the education, insurance or qualification required of a licensed contractor. This can leave you with poor qualify work or unfinished projects, which means you could spend more money hiring another contractor to repair or finish the project.
- Possible criminal background. Unlicensed individuals often have criminal background, to include: fraud, thresh, violent crimes, sexual offenses, and substance abuse.
- Likelihood of being the victim of a scam. Unlicensed individuals often disappear after taking your money, leaving you with very few options to help you get your money back or your work completed.
- No coverage under homeowner’s policy. Most homeowner policies require that work must be done by a licensed contractor and they provide no coverage for work that is not.
- Noncompliance with building codes. Most projects, even small ones, require permits and inspections that unlicensed contractors ignore or are unfamiliar with. If your project isn’t permitted or doesn’t comply with the building code, you may have to remove or repair the work at your own expense and be subject to fines.
Protect yourself or a friend by verifying the contractor at www.myFloridaLicense.com or by calling 850-487-1395. Licensed professionals are also required to have proper insurance and liability coverage that protects you, the consumer