Joint Unlicensed Contracting Sting Yields 14 Arrests
May 7, 2009
CLAY COUNTY—The Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in partnership with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, completed a two-day contracting sting operation, resulting in 14 arrests (notices to appear) by the CCSO and 23 citations issued by DBPR.
“We are committed to taking proactive measures to keep the public safe and protect them from unlicensed and unscrupulous contractors,” said Secretary Charles W. Drago. “We will continue our partnerships with local law enforcement to ensure Floridians are protected.”
DBPR targeted individuals found advertising via the Internet. The suspected unlicensed contractors were asked to submit bids for work including, plumbing, roofing, home theatre installation, security surveillance, electrical outlets and installation of electrical panel boxes. When the individuals arrived to deliver the bids, they were asked to provide proof of licensure. Those who could not provide proof were arrested and issued citations.
“This operation involves even more than our agency helping DBPR enforce unlicensed contractor violations,” said CCSO Lt. Barry Abramowitz. “We also worked to protect our citizens from individuals who would enter their home or business with illegal narcotics, or in one case, a registered sex offender representing himself as a licensed contractor. We discovered both during this operation this week.”
Citation amounts varied based on whether the individuals offered to do both construction and electrical work or only one of the services. Individuals issued notices to appear by the CCSO and cited by DBPR include:
|Christopher M. Rogers||33||$2,500|
|Eric D. Keathly||27||$2,500|
|Daniel J. McKenzie||54||$5,000|
|Steven Darby Ford||29||$5,000|
|William Samual Turner||29||$5,000|
|Robert Allan J. Dooley||29||$2,500|
|Walter Robert Laun||63||$5,000|
|Christopher Wayne Mann||29||$5,000|
|Bubby Mern Shepherd||47||$2,500|
|Jacob Oval Perry||35||$2,500|
|James Ervin McGhee III||32||$5,000|
|Victor Daniel Davila||52||$5,000|
Here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves against unlicensed activity:
- Always ask to see the State of Florida license.
- Note the license number and verify that the license is current and in good standing. To check a license, call 850-487-1395 or visit MyFloridaLicense.com.
- Ask for references and check each one.
- Do not pay cash and be cautious of writing checks made payable to individuals, especially when dealing with a company.
- Get everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.
The department’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.