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UNLICENSED ACTIVITY IN THE NEWS

 

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June 2014

Unlicensed contractors arrested in Venice sting, police report

www.heraldtribune.com 6/20/14

Venice, Fla -Sixteen unlicensed contractors were arrested were arrested during a three-day undercover sting operation that ended Thursday, police report.

When hurricanes come, don't get scammed

The Laker/Lutz News 6/2/14

Land O'Lakes, Fla. - With hurricane season now under way, the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation is reminding consumers, businesses and professionals to protect themselves following a natural disaster by hiring only licensed professionals to perform necessary repairs.

May 2014

Homeowners warned against hiring unlicensed contractors

WTSP 5/30/14

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Hurricane season is just two days away. If you're planning on getting work done to your home, the state wants you to get it done with a licensed professional.

 

Big risks involved with unlicensed AC repairmen

WMKG 5/20/14

Orlando, Fla. - Colen Thomas and his wife thought they were getting a great deal on a new air conditioner unit in their Tavares home.

 

Ken Lawson: Keep swimming pools safe

The Gainesville Sun 5/13/14

Gainesville, Fla. - For thousands of Floridians, swimming pools and spas are places for families to spend time together and have fun. As we recognize National Water Safety Month, it’s important to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe in and around pools and spas. Although it’s important to make sure that everyone knows how to swim and perform CPR, safety measures begin at construction. 

 

Be cautious when hiring contractors

guflbreezenews.com 5/9/14

Gulf Breeze, Fla. - Confirm that the contractor you choose is licensed to do business in Florida. You can verify a contractor’s license and check to see if there are any complaints against him or her by calling the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You should also ask the contractor for references from previous work.

 

Storm victims beware potential scams

www.wtxl.com 5/1/14

Tallahassee, Fla. - A state agency is asking storm victims to be on guard and aware of potential scams. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is urging consumers to protect themselves from unlicensed workers offering to make repairs to their homes or businesses. 

 

DBPR to Consumers: Protect Yourself Following a Storm

www.wctv.com 5/1/14

Tallahassee, Fla. - On April 30, 2014, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 26 counties across Florida due to heavy rainfall and flooding. As a result of the declaration, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is urging consumers to protect themselves from unlicensed individuals offering to make repairs on their homes or businesses.

April 2014

14 arrested in unlicensed contractor sting

www.news4jax.com 4/29/14

St. Johns County, Fla. - The suspects are accused of falsely identifying themselves as contractors, and a 15th suspect was charged with possession of cannabis.

 

Operation targeting unlicensed contractors in St. Johns County nets 15 arrests

www.jacksonville.com 4/29/14

A St. Johns County sting targeting unlicensed contractors ended with 15 arrests Monday and Tuesday after the men bid on repairs then showed up to do the work.

 

SJSO busts 14 unlicensed contractors

www.wokv.com 4/29/14

A two-week undercover sting has resulted in 15 arrests in St. Johns County.

 

Sting of unlicensed contractors nets 26

www.sun-sentinel.com 4/29/14

A joint state and county sting of unlicensed contractors netted 26 tradesmen, some of whom had been cited before, the Broward sheriff's office said.

 

BSO arrests 30 people in unlicensed contractor sting

www.local10.com 4/29/14

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - Thirty people were arrested following a Broward Sheriff's Office investigation into unlicensed contractors committing fraud throughout the county. Several state and local agencies collaborated with BSO in the two-day operation last week.

 

No A/C permit is not cool and leaves owner on the hook

www.news-press.com 4/16/14

FT. MYERS , Fla. - Keeping a home in two places can be challenging. As snowbirds know, you need someone you can trust to look out for your northern home when you’re in Southwest Florida and someone to look out for the Florida house when you’re up north.

 

Fifteen issued cease and desist notices in Tallahassee construction sting

4/15/14

The DBPR Tallahassee Regional II Office conducted a construction sting March 25 -27. Fifteen suspects showed up at the undercover house and proposed to provide construction services, which included the removal and replacement of windows, removal and installation of a hot water heater and the removal and installation of an air conditioning system. 

 

Seven issued cease and desist notices in Duval County construction sting

4/8/14

The DBPR Jacksonville Regional III Office conducted a construction sting that consisted of roofing and HVAC advertisements on Craig’s List.

 

Unlicensed contractor busted for 3rd time

www.myfoxtampabay.com 4/4/2014

SARASOTA, Fla. - Erin Holdgate is feeling a bit cold after learning one of the contractors at her condo complex had no license to do any of the AC work.

 

Unlicensed contractor with history of similar crimes arrested in Sarasota

www.bradenton.com 4/4/2014

SARASOTA, Fla. - An unlicensed contractor has been arrested and charged with 34 new charges by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

 

Man faces multiple counts of unlicensed contracting

www. sunnewspapers.com 4/4/2014

SARASOTA, Fla. - Authorities charged a Sarasota man Thursday with 33 felony counts of operating as an unlicensed contractor for allegedly taking thousands of dollars from a client by never pulling permits or performing any of the work, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

March 2014

DBPR launches new mobile function for reporting unlicensed activity

www.jcfloridan.com 3/27/14

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation recently launched the “Report Unlicensed Activity” function within the DBPR Mobile app, giving consumers the ability to report unlicensed activity in real time.

 

Report unlicensed business activity in real time

www.news4jax.com 3/27/14

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation now offers a way for you to report unlicensed business activity in real time.

 

DBPR launches new mobile function for reporting unlicensed activity

3/27/14

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) recently launched the “Report Unlicensed Activity” function within the DBPR Mobile app allowing consumers to report unlicensed activity in real time.

 

20 unlicensed contractors arrested in Polk County

www.wfla.com 3/7/2014

POLK COUNTY, Fla.- Polk County Sheriff's deputies went undercover to find unlicensed contractors performing work in the county.

February 2014

DBPR issues consumer advisory warning of unlicensed contractors

www.wtxl.com 2/6/2014

TALLAHASSEE (WTXL) – The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) cautions consumers in the Tallahassee area to be on the lookout for unlicensed individuals who offer professional services requiring a state license. 

 

Sting nabs unlicensed contractors

www.wctv.tv 2/6/2014

TALLAHASSEE - A home on Bronough Street in Tallahassee was the site of a recent sting operation.

 

State regulation agency warns against participating in unlicensed combat sports

www.wctv.tv 2/7/2014

TALLAHASSEE - DBPR and the Florida State Boxing Commission (FSBC) are warning Floridians that unsanctioned combat sports events are unsafe and illegal in the state. 

 

State office issues warning about unlicensed combat sports

miamiherald.typepad.com 2/8/2014

Unlicensed combat sports are often undetected until someone files a complaint or gets hurt, so the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation has issued a cautionary note to warn consumers and amateur athletes about the dangers of these events, whether you're a participant or bystander. 

 

Polk sheriff warns of home repair scams

www.wfla.com 2/8/2014

POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is reminding residents to watch out for and report any suspicious activity involving door-to-door home repair solicitors.

 

Gainesville/Tallahassee Sting Operations
2/19/2014
Gainesville and Tallahassee stings operations.

January 2014

Catching unlicensed contractors

www.winknews.com 1/30/2014

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Our Call for Action team had been working with the city of Cape Coral for months in order to get an inside look at how unlicensed contractors get caught and now we have the exclusive video of how the city is fighting back to keep you safe.

December 2013

Nine contractors arrested in "Operation Unhandyman" sting

www.bradenton.com 12/6/2013

MANATEE Nine people have been arrested after a two-day undercover operation conducted by six law enforcement and regulatory agencies along with the State Attorney's Office targeting unlicensed contractors.

 

Beware of unlicensed contractors-check for professional documentation

www.bradenton.patch.com 12/28/2013

This month's sting of a batch of unlicensed contractors should serve as another warning to property owners about hiring workers to improve their homes and businesses.

November 2013

Sting targets unlicensed contractors in the Cape Coral area

www.winknews.com 11/5/2013

Cape Coral, Fla.-The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) today announced the conclusion of a week-long sting targeting unlicensed contractors in the Cape Coral area.

 

Catching unlicensed Contractors

www.winknews.com 11/5/2014

Our Call for Action team had been working with the city of Cape Coral for months in order to get an inside look at how unlicensed contractors get caught and now we have the exclusive video of how the city is fighting back to keep you safe.

Owner of air conditioning company arrested for unlicensed work

www.mysuncoast.com 11/13/2013

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -The owner of a Venice air conditioning company has been arrested after investigators say he had no contractor's license and hired unlicensed personnel.

 

Is your waxing salon safe?

www.firstcoastnews.com 11/19/2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For some, getting waxed is as routine as getting a haircut. But not all salons are created equal. On Your Side reporter, David Williams, combed through state inspection reports and has what you need to know before you go.

October 2013

Why barbers are licensed, inspected

Times Union 10/23/2013

May 2013

Nine arrested in unlicensed contractor sting in Pasco County

www.abcationnews.com 5/6/2013

HOLIDAY, Fla. - The Pasco Sheriff's Office (PSO) is cracking down on unlicensed contractors.  "It's important we send a clear message out there that we are going to protect our citizens," said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco.

March 2013

10 arrested in Flagler sting targeting unlicensed contractors

www.news-journalonline.com 3/22/2013

Ten men were arrested in Flagler County after a two-day undercover operation targeting unlicensed contractors.

CCSO arrest 9 for contracting without a license

(www.winknews.com) 3/22/2013

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives of the Economic Crimes Unit, working with two State and one County agency, arrested nine men Wednesday and Thursday on charges of Contracting Without a License. The sting operation was set up at a home in Port Charlotte during Operation “FIX-IT-UP” 2013.

February 2013

5 Unlicensed Contractors arrested in Hernando

(www.wtsp.com) 2/21/2013

Hernando County, Florida-- Five construction contractors are behind bars Thursday after an undercover operation revealed they were working without a license or proper insurance.

 

January 2013

20 Charged in Unlicensed Contractor Crackdown

(www.heraldtribune.com) 1/15/2013

SARASOTA COUNTY - Six months into a new program to find and punish unlicensed contractors, the sheriff’s office announced Tuesday that the program has led to criminal charges for 20 people, and citations for 23 others.

State Warns of Doing Business with Unlicensed Individuals

(www.wctv.tv) 1/9/2013

Tallahassee, FL - The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) today unveiled its annual unlicensed activity media campaign to educate consumers on the dangers of doing business with an unlicensed individual.

December, 2012

Pinellas Co. Undercover Operation Nets 10 Unlicensed Contractors

(www.wtsp.com) 12/14/2012

Pinellas Co., FL-- "It is very important that people use licensed contractors for work in their homes," stressed Sheriff Bob Gualtieri Friday after an undercover operation netted 10 arrests of those practicing as unlicensed contractors.

October, 2012

BSO: Sting Nets Arrests of 19 Unlicensed Contractors

(www.Miami.CBSLocal.com) - 10/22/2012

They came looking for work. Instead, they left in handcuffs. Only CBS 4′s cameras were allowed inside the sting. The Broward Sheriff’s Office concluded an undercover sting operation in northern Broward County Thursday which cracked down on unlicensed contractors. In particular, the operation targeted many repeat offenders identified by Broward County’s Consumer Protection Division.

 

11 Unlicensed Contractors Busted In Joint Raid By Jacksonville Authorities

(www.jacksonville.com) - 10/10/2012

The construction jobs ranged from converting a tub into a shower, building a patio to routine electrical work.

What some of the Jacksonville-area contractors contacted didn’t know when they wrote estimates up to $4,400 last week was that the “homeowner” was an undercover investigator.

 

July, 2012

Officials Advocate Licensed Contractors

(www.TBNWeekly.com) 7/24/2012

CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board helps guide homeowners in hiring a licensed contractor for home improvements. From January to July of this year, the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board issued 536 citations against unlicensed contractors.

Unlicensed Contractors Nailed In Sting

(www.Chronicleonline.com) - 7/14/2012

Sixteen people were either cited or received notices after being caught in a multi-agency sting targeting unlicensed contractors, according to a release by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.The sheriff’s office joined forces with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), the county’s code compliance division and the State Attorney of the Fifth Judicial Circuit to crack down on people performing or advertising to perform unlicensed construction contracting work — a violation of state and county laws.

Caution Advised With Repair Work

(www.HernandoToday.com) 7/5/2012

Local law enforcement is urging residents to be cautious when hiring building contractors to fix damage from Tropical Storm Debby. Unscrupulous, unlicensed workers often prey on homeowners eager to repair or replace property after a disaster, authorities warn.

June, 2012

Editorial: Don't Take A Chance By Hiring Unlicensed Contractors To Do Work On Home

(www.TCPalm.com) - 6/22/2012

Getting an unlicensed contractor to do work on your home could save you money in the short term. But, it could be a very expensive proposition in the long term. And, it's illegal.

"Unlicensed contracting occurs generally just about everywhere," said Larry Massing of the Martin County Building Department. "They are typically the cheapest guy, and there's a reason for that."

Tuesday's Letters: Report Unlicensed Business Activity

(www.TampaBay.com) - 6/19/2012

Every day, Floridians with professional licenses go to work throughout the state. From contractors to cosmetologists and veterinarians to auctioneers, these and other professionals share a common link — each holds a state license. State licenses are important because they offer consumers and the public reassurance that the person holding that license meets the standard requirements for working in a specific field. Consumers can verify licenses online at www.myfloridalicense.com.

BSO Arrests 40 In Unlicensed Contractor Operation

(www.NBCMiami.com) - 6/18/2012

The Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested 40 people after a two-day operation to put unlicensed contractors behind bars, authorities said.The unlicensed contractor operation arrested the offenders for failing to have a certificate of competency, which is required for contracting.

Ernst: An Unlicensed Contractor Horror Story

(www.HeraldTribune.com) - 6/1/2012

For the Sarasota County Building Department, it's a horror story of perfect-storm proportions. A single mom buys a house from an investor who bought it through a short sale. Shortly after she moves in, she discovers one of the bathtubs does not drain properly. It turns out that the investor, and probably the owner before that, had hired unlicensed contractors to do extensive work on the house, all without permits.

May, 2012

Guest Opinion: Unlicensed Activity Kills Jobs, Harms The Public

(www.News-Press.com) - 5/9/2012

Every day, Floridians with professional licenses go to work throughout the state. From contractors to cosmetologists and veterinarians to auctioneers, these and other professionals share a common link — each holds a state license.

Hiring Unlicensed Contractors Leads To Big Risks

(www.OrlandoSentine.com) - 5/6/2012

Would you place your air-conditioning unit or roof in the hands of a fly-by-night company to save a buck? Are there more unlicensed contractors offering bargains across Florida because of the bad economy?

Unlicensed Contractor Leaves Unfinished Work

(www.TBO.com) - 5/1/2012

A contractor, who is not registered with the state or Hillsborough County, has left a homeowner with an unfinished kitchen and bathroom.

Alfred Santiago, who has a business on North Himes Avenue, also has been charged four times for doing work without a license in Pinellas County. Alicia Williams thought she was getting a renovated kitchen and bathroom for her Hillsborough County townhouse when she gave Santiago a $2,390 down payment in November.

April, 2012

30 Arrested In Unlicensed Contractor Crackdown

(www.Local10.com) - 4/26/2012

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. - At least 30 unlicensed contractors got a big surprise when law enforcement officers jumped out of a room in an Oakland Park house and put them in cuffs. Among those arrested was Joe Puccio of Snake Out Plumbing, who detectives said has a long criminal history. 

Ken Lawson: Unlicensed Activity Harms Consumers

(www.Sun-Sentinel.com) - 4/9/2012

Every day, Floridians with professional licenses go to work throughout the state. From contractors to cosmetologists and veterinarians to auctioneers, these and other professionals share a common link — each holds a state license. State licenses are important because they offer consumers and the public reassurance that the person holding that license meets the standard requirements for working in a specific field.

Guest: Unlicensed Contractors? Don't Take The Risk

(www.HeraldTribune.com) - 4/5/2012

Two recent, local incidents underscore the need for property owners to be aware of the dangers of using unlicensed contractors.

In one instance, an unlicensed contractor was charged with taking money for contracting work he never performed. He also faces other charges, including grand theft, fraud and exploitation of the elderly.

March, 2012

Unlicensed Contractor Allegedly Scams Elderly Customer

(www.Winknews.com) - 3/15/2012

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla.- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested 45-year-old Robert Grannan, of Englewood, for taking money for contracting work he never performed. Grannan, doing business as Florida Complete Air Services, charged an 85-year-old Venice woman $2,684 for a new 2 ½ ton 410a Heat Pump Unit that he never replaced.

February, 2012

Sting Nabs 14 Unlicensed Contractors Working In Manatee County

(www.Bradenton.com - 2/28/2012)

MANATEE Fourteen local laborers were charged in connection with an unlicensed contracting case earlier this month, according to Manatee County officials. Manatee County sheriff’s deputies arrested the suspects Feb. 15-16, saying they were attempting contract work without proper licenses.

Unlicensed Activity A Threat To Florida Consumers

(www.TBO.com - 2/20/2012)

Every day, Floridians with professional licenses go to work to serve customers throughout the state. From general contractors to cosmetologists and veterinarians to auctioneers, these and many other professionals share a common link — each holds a state license certifying his or her ability to provide a unique skill or service.

Licensesing Sting Nets Three Arrests

(www.TBO.com - 2/13/2012)

NEW PORT RICHEY -- Three people have been arrested in a sting operation aimed at cracking down on unlicensed building contractors, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said Friday. Pasco deputies conducted the sting with assistance from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Juan Luis Acosta, 28, of 8131 Dedham Drive, Port Richey, was charged with scheme to defraud and falsely identifying himself as a contractor. He was booked into the Land O' Lakes Jail with bail set at $10,000.

January, 2012

Unlicensed Contractor Sting Ends In 9 Arrests

(HernandoToday.com - 1/28/2012)

BROOKSVILLE -- A comprehensive investigation undertaken by several local agencies resulted in the arrests of nine suspected unlicensed contractors in Hernando County. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Detectives, together with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Hernando County Building Department and the Brooksville City Building Officials, conducted the sting.

Gypsy Scam Artist Target Polk County Elderly

(WFTV.com - 1/14/2012)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- A Lake County tip launched a Polk County undercover operation that detectives said caught five gypsies who were targeting elderly victims. The suspects each tried to charge an elderly woman working with deputies hundreds of dollars for roof repairs that she didn't need. The suspects are now facing charges ranging from exploiting the elderly to grand theft.

Suspects Busted in "Travelers" Undercover Operation

(West Orlando News.com -1/14/2012)

Five men, members of a nomadic community, have been arrested charged with various crimes, including exploitation of the elderly, burglary, grand theft and workers compensation fraud, Polk County deputies said.

Use Free App To Check Roofer, Contractor License On Your iPhone or Android

(Sun Sentinel.com - 1/11/2012)

The next time an unlicensed roofer or plumber knocks on your door, reach into your pocket and grab a smartphone instead of your wallet.

Lots of people are looking for work, including unlicensed workers who may end up at your doorstep offering a bargain. Unfortunately, it is against the law – not to mention a financial and health risk – to hire someone who is not properly registered with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

November, 2011

Unlicensed Contracting Scams A Growing Problem in Hernando, Say Deputies

(BayNews9.com 11/15/2011)

BROOKSVILLE -- The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office says unlicensed contractors scamming people out of money is a growing problem and they’re cracking down. Three men have been arrested as part of a sting targeting unlicensed contractors. Three men have been arrested as part of a sting targeting unlicensed contractors.Dr. Gaurav Malhotra says he was scammed out of $23,000 when he hired what he thought was a legitimate contractor to make a sign for his new clinic.

September, 2011

Valrico Woman Gets Heat Pump Months After Payment

(TBO.com - 9/19/2011)

Rebecca Journey Smith of Valrico finally got the heat pump she paid for in May. Smith said she thought she was doing business with a licensed company when she hired Joel Chapa of Joey's Maintenance to install the heat pump and do duct work.  She paid $5,800 of Chapa's $7,800 bill as a down payment. After the installation, she learned from a TECO energy audit that she did not get the heat pump. "I wasn't very happy to find out that I had not gotten the unit that I had ordered," Smith said.

Deputies: 10 Cited In Unlicensed Contractor Sting

(TBO.com - 9/9/2011)

Ten people have been cited in a crackdown on unlicensed contractors, authorities said today. The citations followed a two-day undercover sting by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

 

August, 2011

Valrico Woman Upset With Work Of Air-Conditioning Company

(TBO.com - 8/31/2011)

Rebecca Journey-Smith of Valrico paid a company called Joey's Maintenance $5,800 as a down payment in May for a heat pump.

Joey's Maintenance was to replace Journey-Smith's old air-conditioning unit with a 3-ton heat pump and replace all ducts and grills, according to a company invoice.  It included a 10-year warranty on all parts and a five-year warranty on labor.  The cost: $7,800.

Unlicensed Contractors Busted in St. Cloud Sting

(Orlandosentinel.com -8/17/2011)

Eleven unlicensed contractors from across Central Florida were busted after traveling to St. Cloud to bid turning a home's second story into a mother-in-law suite, according to police and the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation The eleven men, including carpenters, plumbers and electricians, were contacted by investigators checking advertisements on Craig's List, the Yellow Pages and other print publications and internet sites, said Sgt. Denise Roberts.

St. Petersburg Roofer Arrested For Unlicensed Contracting and Grand Theft

(ABCactionnews.com - 8/5/2011)

ST. PETERSBURG - The day after a St. Petersburg roofer was arrested for grand theft and unlicensed contracting, consumer investigators warned that this is the season for roofing scams. "With hurricane season coming, you have a lot of contractors out there who may not be who they say they are," said Inlays County Consumer Investigator Doug Templeton.  "People want to make sure their roof is sound before hurricane season.  They need to be cautious."

April, 2011

Tampa Police Target Unlicensed Contractors

(TBO.com - 4/7/2011)

TAMPA - A Craigslist posting offered Nestor Ortez's services as an air conditioning contractor, authorities said, and on Wednesday he drove to a house off Nebraska Avenue prepared to install an AC unit. But Ortez isn't licensed, police said. He was one of four people ensnared by a sting operation that had undercover detectives posing as homeowners in order to put unlicensed AC contractors on ice.

February, 2011

Contractors Laud Clamp Down

(Keynews.com - 2/18/2011)

The fight against illegal contracting continues to heat up in courtrooms, but the Florida Keys Contractors Association is convinced the only solution is to stop it at the source: Your home.

January, 2011

9 Arrested In Charlotte County Unlicensed Contractors Sting

(News-press.com - 1/21/2011)

7:25 P.M. — Charlotte County Sheriff’s Economic Crimes Unit detectives, in a joint operation with Charlotte County Code Enforcement, concluded a two-day sting operation today in East Englewood with nine arrests. The operation was set up to identify unlicensed contractors and those contracting to work outside the scope of their license.

December, 2010

Out-of-Town Plumber Faces License Investigation

(Keynews.com - 12/22/2010)

KEY LARGO -- A Lee County plumber who has connected hundreds of homes to the Key Largo central sewer is under investigation by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for failing to report his full criminal history.

Bonita Springs Cracks Down On Unlicensed Contractors

(Fox4now.com - 12/16/2010)

Bonita Springs is cracking down on unlicensed contractors.

City officials say as more people snap up foreclosed houses, they're looking for workers to come in and fix them up. But officials and legit business owners warn you need to beware of people working without a license.

 

Sheriff's Office Looks To Stop Unlicensed Contractors

(Sun Sentinel.com - 12/15/2010)

Hoping to catch unlicensed contractors, the Tamarac Sheriff's Office set up shop at the corner of Commercial Boulevard and Rock Island Road on Nov. 17 and randomly pulled over commercial vehicles.

November, 2010

Warning Aimed at Unlicensed Contractors

(Keysnews.com - 11/26/2010)

One illegal contractor took a relatively minor fall last week, but the guilty verdict was a major indication to some that the State Attorney's Office was taking a serious stand against the practice. Michael Quintana was sentenced to five days in jail and a $500 fine, plus the substantial costs of the court case and investigation, for engaging in contracting without a license. Quintana was nabbe...

Tips for Choosing a Talent Representative

(SunSentinel.com - 11/26/2010)

Before signing up with a modeling or talent agency:

Do your research. Always check the company out with the Better Business Bureau. Confirm whether the agency is licensed with Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

SNN6: Special Report on Contractors

(Herald-Tribune.com - 11/12/2010)

Reporter Mia McCormick accompanies Sarasota County officials cracking down on unlicensed contractors.

Riverview Man Accused of Scamming Homeowner Out of Nearly $20,000

(Tampa Bay Online-TBO.com - 11/06/2010)

TAMPA - A man hired to build an addition on a West Tampa home never completed the work, scamming the homeowner out of nearly $20,000, police said Ben T. Jones, 47, of 13194 U.S. 301 S., Riverview, was arrested Thursday in a sting by construction fraud investigators with Tampa police. He was released hours later after posting $4,000 bail on two felony counts of acting in the capacity of a contractor without a license, records show.

Athlete Agents Problem is not Easy to Attack

(Orlando Sentinel - 11/04/2010)

TALLAHASSEE — Long before the University of North Carolina football program faced its own problems with sports agents, an agent-related scandal rocked Florida State and the college football world following the Seminoles national championship in 1993.

October, 2010

Sting Operation Nets Eight for Unlicensed Contract Work
(CBS Wink news NOW - 10/15/2010)

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Officials with the City of Cape Coral’s Code Compliance Division and Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation cited eight individuals for unlicensed contracting during a two-day sting operation this week. On October 13 -14, the agencies set up operations in a home in the southeast Cape and solicited a variety of contracting services. To provide these services, individuals had to have the appropriate contractor’s licenses issued by the State of Florida and City of Cape Coral, as well as a business tax receipt issued by the City.

September, 2010

Department of Business and Professional Regulation Sweeps Vero Beach for Unlicensed Electrical Contractors

(FloridaProfessionalLicense.com - 09/30/2010)

VERO BEACH—On September 16, 2010, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Regulation investigators conducted a sweep of Vero Beach for unlicensed electrical contactors. During the sweep, investigators visited 14 jobsites, checked 14 licenses and issued six cease and desist notices to unlicensed electrical contractors.

Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office “Sting” Unlicensed Contractors in Jacksonville

(FloridaProfessionalLicense.com - 09/29/2010)

JACKSONVILLE—Friday, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, completed a three-day sting called “Operation Hammerdown” targeting unlicensed contactors. Twenty-two unlicensed contractors were issued cease and deists notices by DBPR and notices to appear by JSO.

Pet Owners Accuse Lee County Veterinarian, Husband

(News-Press.com - 09/24/2010)

1:10 A.M. — Amy and Larry Gentsch are up against hundreds of pages of statements from angry customers who claim the couple harmed their pets or performed unnecessary procedures.

Thirteen Suspects Charged in Unlicensed Contracting Sting

(Baynews9.com - 09/24/2010)

ST. PETERSBURG -- Thirteen men were charged this week as part of a crackdown on unlicensed contractors.

13 Charged as Illegal Contractors in St. Petersburg Sting

(Tampa Bay Online-TBO.com - 09/24/2010)

ST. PETERSBURG - Authorities have identified 13 men they say were passing themselves off as contractors on the Internet, even though they didn't have the required licenses.

County Offers Tips for Working with Contractors

(Mysunoast.com - ABC 7 - 09/23/2010)

SARASOTA COUNTY - Sarasota County Planning and Development Services has issued a warning about hiring unlicensed workers for home improvements, and offers tips to residents for protecting themselves.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation Sweeps Dade and Broward Counties for Unlicensed Talent Agents

(Insurancenewsnet.com - 09/13/2010)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Sept. 13 -The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation issued the following news release:

Dade and Broward Counties--Yesterday, Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Division of Regulation investigators conducted a sweep of Dade and Broward counties for unlicensed talent agents. During the sweep, investigators visited talent agencies to check for proper licensure and issued two citations and one cease and desist notice to unlicensed talent agents.

Department of Business and Professional Regulation Cites Unlicensed Contractors in North Palm Beach

(FloridaProfessionalLicense.com - 09/09/2010)

NORTH PALM BEACH—On September 2, 2010, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Regulation investigators, in partnership with the North Palm Beach Building Department, cited five individuals for providing contracting services without a license. The department issued one citation and four cease and desist notices.

Tampa Area Police on the Hunt for Unlicensed Contractors

(St. Petersburg Times - 09/07/2010)

TAMPA — When the workers arrived one by one at a Tampa apartment last month, the man who answered the door asked if they could install some ceiling fans and change a water heater. He had found their ads on Craigslist and said he wanted bids.

Man Posing as Contractor Swindles Thousands from Tampa Family, Police Say

(St. Petersburg Times - 09/01/2010)

TAMPA — Living together was never the plan, but after Carol Papia's adult daughter was diagnosed with lupus five years ago and her husband fell ill, that's the way things had to be.

August, 2010

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation “Stings” Unlicensed Contractors in Key Largo

(FloridaProfessionalLicense.com - 08/26/2010)

Key Largo—On Aug. 23, it was announced that the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Regulation partnered with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the county Code Compliance Office and the State Attorney for the 16th Judicial Circuit to execute a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of two individuals, John Bowen Jr. and Michael Quintana, for unlicensed contracting.

Seven Charged After Craigslist Contractor Sting

(Tampa Bay Online - 08/20/10)

TAMPA - A police sting aimed at illegal contractors has resulted in seven arrests. The operation was conducted by Tampa police and the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Checklist for Hiring a Roofer

(Palm Beach Post - 08/17/2010)

PALM BEACH COUNTY - Does the contractor have a state or Palm Beach County license? Contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at (850) 487-1395 or myfloridalicense.com, or contact the Palm Beach County Contractors Certification office at (561) 233-5530 or pbcgov.com/pzb/contractors.

West Palm Roofing Leaves Long Trail of Lawsuits, Unpaid Bills, Misery

(Palm Beach Post - 08/14/2010)

PALM BEACH COUNTY - Roofer Gregory Haddox followed Hurricane Wilma to the tarp-covered homes of Palm Beach County. Soon after, in 2006, he was jailed because he had no license. Despite his guilty plea, Haddox has continued to operate, leaving a trail of lawsuits and angry home­owners and subcontractors in his wake.

 

 

Important Department Press Releases and News Archives from around the state

Top

2010

November

20101126-Warning-Aimed-at-Unlicensed-Contractors

20101126-Tips-for-Choosing-a-Talent-Representative

20101106-Riverview-Man-Accused-of-Scamming-Homeowner-Out-of-Nearly-20000-Dollars

20101104-Agents-Problem-is-Not-Easy-to-Attack

 

OCTOBER

 

20101015-Sting-Operation-Nets-Eight-for-Unlicensed-Activity-Work

 

SEPTEMBER

 

20100930-Florida-Department-of-Business-and-Professional-Regulation-Sweeps-Vero-Beach-for-Unlicensed-Electrical-Contractors

20100929-Florida-Department-of-Business-and-Professional-Regulation-and-Jacksonville-Sheriffs-Office-Sting-Unlicensed-Contractors-in-Jacksonville

20100924-Pet-Owners-Accuse-Lee-County-Veterinarian-Husband

20100924-Thirteen-Suspects-Charged-in-Unlicensed-Contracting-Sting

2010924-13-Charged-as-Illegal-Contractors-in-St-Petersburg-Sting

20100923-County-Offeres-Tips-for-Working-with-Contractors

20100913-The-Department-of-Business-and-Professional-Regulation-Sweeps-Dade-and-Broward-Counties-for Unlicensed-Talent-Agents

20100909-Department-of-Business-and-Professional-Regulation-Cites-Unlicensed-Contractors-in-North-Palm-Beach

20100907-Tampa-Area-Police-on-the-Hunt-for-Unlicensed-Contractors

20100901-Man-Posing-as-Contractor-Swindles-thousands-from-Tampa-Family-Police-Say

20100901-Finding-a-Competent-Contractor-Architect-Designer

 

AUGUST

 

20100826-Florida-Department-of-Business-and-Professional-Regulation-Stings-Unlicensed-Contractors-in-Key-Largo

20100820-Seven-Charged-After-Craigslist-Contractor-Sting

20100817-Checklist-for-Hiring-a-Roofer

201000814-West-Palm-Roofer-Leaves-Long-Trail-of-Lawsuits-Unpaid-Bills-Misery

 

JULY

 

20100729-Victims-Get-a-Bit-of-Relief

20100729-The-Perils-of-Unlicensed-Hair-Stylists

20100721-Woman-Falls-through-Balcony-Hangs-on-to-Rafters

20100715-BSO-Sweep-Nets-Numerous-Unlicensed-Contractors-Broward-County (sting operation)

20100714-Holmes-County-BOCC-Plans to Create Licensing Board-Holmes-County

20100713-Watch-Out-for-Handymen-Who-Can-Mess-a-House-Up-Lee-County

20100712-Couple-Arrested-Ft-Myers-Animal-Clinic-Inquiry-Lee-County

20100712-Florida-Mold-Professionals-Now-Need-a-License

20100710-Cape-Contractors-Arrested-in-Sting-Lee-County

20100709-Coral-Springs-Electrical-Contractor-Accused-of-Unlicensed-Work

20100709-Unlicensed-Coral-Springs-Electrical-Contractor-Arrested

20100708-Florida-Department-of-Business-and-Professional-Regulation-Sweeps-Tampa-Area-for-Unlicensed-Contractors

20100708-Florida-Department-of-Business-and-Professional-Regulation-Sweeps-Wellington-for-Unlicensed-Contractors

20100706-Unlicensed-Contractors-Busted-in-Cape-Coral-Sting-Operation

20100706-Unlicensed-Contractors-Busted-in-Cape-Sting-Operation

20100702-How-to-Hre-a-Contractor

 

JUNE

 

20100628-Department-of-Business-and-Professional-Regulation-Protects-Consumers-with-Statewide-Unlicensed-Operation-Leon

20100628-DBPR-Protects-Consumers-with-Statewide-Unlicensed-Activity-Operation

20100625-Boynton-Beach-Swept-for-Unlicensed-Contractors

20100625-Illegal-Workers-Busted-in-Orange-Park

20100624-Department-of-Business-and-Professional-Regulation-Sweeps-the-Keys-for-Unlicensed-Cosmetologists-Barbers-and-Veterinarians

20100623-Protect-Yourself-from-Unlicensed-Contractors-Seminole-County

20100623-Homebuilder-Guilty-of-Fraud-Flagler-County

20100623-National-Low-Voltage-Contractors-Association-Tampa

20100618-Unlicensed-Contractors-Snagged-in-Sting-Operation-Miami

20100616-Florida-Home-Inspectors-Licensed-In-July-2010

20100604-Sting-Nabs-Suspected-Unlicensed-Contractors

20100602-Undercover-Sting-Busts-Unlicensed-Contractors

201000602-Sting-Nets-Six-Unlicensed-Contractors-In-Daytona-Beach

 

MAY

 

20100528-Release-Department of Business-And-Professional-Regulation-Urges-Preparation-For-Hurricane-Season

20100518-BSO-Cracks-Down-On-Unlicensed-Contractors-Broward

20100518-Arrests-Made-At-Pompano-Beach-Checkpoint-Targeting-Unlicensed-Contractors-Broward

20100513-Pool-Problems-Tips-On-Contracting-For-Pool

20100508-Clearwater-Police-Nab-Six-in-Hunt-for-Unlicensed-Contractors

APRIL

 

20100429-Teacher-Learns-Why-Never-Hire-An-Unlicensed-Contractor-for-Kitchen-Remodel-Lee-County

20100429-Make-It-Green-Hire-A-Licensed-Landscape-Architect

20100428-Charges-Pile-Up-From-Senior-Victims-Against-Unlicensed-Contractor-In-The-Villages-Sumter-County

20100426-Sting-Targets-Unlicensed-Contractors-On-Craigslist-in-Jacksonvile-Duval-County

20100426-Sting-of-Craigslist-Captures-Unlicensed-Contractors-Duval-County

20100426-Sting-Catches-31-Unlicensed-Persons-From-Craigslist-Duval-County

20100426-DBPR-Release-Hire-Licensed-AC-Contractors

20100426-31-Arrested-In-Unlicensed-Contractor-Bust-Duval-County

20100421-Sewer-Primer-Tips-For-Hiring-A-Contractor-Monroe-County

20100413-DBPR-Release-DBPR-Harnesses-Craigslist-To-Stop-Unlicensed-Activity

20100412-DBPR-Release-It-Is-Getting-Hot-Use-Only-Licensed-Pool-Contractors

 

MARCH

 

20100323-Unlicensed-Door-To-Door-Solicitation-Bad-News-Lee-County

20100320-Florida-Professional-License-Blog-Leon-County

20100319-Sheriff-Warns-of-Roofing-Scam-Lee-County

20100315-16-Charged-In-Unlicensed-Contractor-Sting-Operation-Duval-County

20100306-Make-Yourself-A-Well-Educated-Consumer-National-Consumer-Protection-Week-Leon-County

20100305-Sweep-For-Community-Assocition-Managers-Finds-Perfect-Compliance-Palm-Beach-County

20100303-Sweep-Finds-100-Percent-Compliance-Seminole-County

20100302-Unlicensed-Contractor-Checkpoints-Resulted-In-1-Arrest-9-Notices-To-Go-To-Court-Broward-County

20100302-DBPR-Release-DBPR-Protects-Student-Athletes-During-Pro-Days-From-Unlicensed-Athlete-Agents

 

FEBRUARY

 

20100208-Sting-Nets-6-Unlicensed-Contractors-Broward-County

20100203-Roofer-Could-Face-Charges-After-Criminal-Complaint-Lee-County

 

 

JANUARY

 

20100128-Deerfield-Warns-Of-Unlicensed-Renovations-General-Broward-County

2009

DECEMBER

 

20091218-How-Do-You-Find-A-Good-Contractor

20091217-How-Do-You-Know-If-Contractor-Is-Properly-Licensed-General-Pinelles-County

20091215-Letter-To-The-Editor-License-Is-Required-For-A-Good-Reason-Charlotte-County

20091202-Sheriff-Warns-Be-Wary-Of-Unlicensed-Contractors-Selling-Door-To-Door-Washington-County

 

NOVEMBER

 

20091115-New-Florida-Website-Makes-It-Easier-To-Verify-License-And-File-A-Complaint

20091109-Know-What-Services-Require-A-State-License-Leon-County

20091106-DBPR-Release-Consumers-Reminded-To-Protect-Themselves-By-Checking-License-Leon-County

20091106-DBPR-Release-Consumers-Reminded-To-Hire-Only-Licensed-Contractors-Statewide

20091105-Sherrff-DBPR-Team-UP-To-Target-Unlicensed-Contractors-Broward-County

20091105-15-Arrested-In-Unlicensed-Activity-Sting-In-Broward-County

20091105-8-Arrested-For-Unlicensed-Contracting-In-Sting-Operation-Pinellas-County

20091105-2-Men-Arrested-In-Sting-For-Doing-Unlicensed-Contracting-Work-Indian-River-County

20091102-Unlicensed-Contractors-Busted-In-Sting-Operations-St-Johns-County

20091102-DBPR-Sweeping-State-To-Crackdown- On-Unlicensed-Activity-Violators-Statewide

 

OCTOBER

 

20091031-17-Unlicensed-Contractors-Arrested-In-Sting-Operation-St-Johns-County

20091030-Unlicensed Contractors-Caught-In-Sting- Cited-for-Misdemeanor-St-Johns-County

20091030-Handyman-Not-Licensed-To-Do-Work-Arrested-In-Sting-St-Johns-County

20091030-15-Unlicensed-Contractors-Busted-In-Sting-Operation-St-Johns-County

20091029-DBPR-Release-Joint-Sting-Operation-Results-in-9-Unlicensed-Contractors-Arrested-Collier-County

20091028-DBPR-Release-Checking-A-Contractors-License-Is-Now-Easier-Than-Ever-Before

20091021-DBPR-Increases-Enforcement-Against-Unlicensed-Contractors

20091020-Group-Of-Residents-Sueing-Unlicensed-Contractor-Marion-County

20091007-Unlicensed-Roofer-Arrested-For-Grand-Theft-In-Sting-Bay-County

20091005-2-Arrested-In-Unlicensed-Contractor-Sting-Indian-River-County

 

SEPTEMBER

 

20090927-Number-Of-Units-And-Budget-Determine-If-A-License-Community-Association-Manager-Is-Required

20090927-Choose-A-Contractor-You-Can-Talk-To-And-Trust-Miami-Dade

20090917-Unlicensed-Roofing-Scam-Uncovered-In-Wakulla-Wakulla-County

20090917-Man-Posed-As-Electrical-Contractor-Arrested-In-Sting-Miami-Dade-County

20090910-DBPR-Increases-Proactive-Enforcement-Against-Unlicensed-Activity

20090909-Highlands-Sheriff-Warns-of-Possible-AC-Repair-Scam-Highlands-County

20090907-Don't-Pay-Twice-For-Home-Repairs-Jacksonville

20090904-Three-Cited-In-Cape-Coral-Unlicensed-Contracting-Sting-Lee-County

20090904-Do-Your-Homewoke-Before-Hiring-A-Roofing-Contractor-Hillsborough-County

20090903-Man-Accused-Of-Exploiting-Elderly-Woman-In-Construction-Project-Broward-County

20090902-DBPR-Fines-Unlicensed-Contractor-In-Middle-Keys-Sting-Monroe-County

20090901-Unlicensed-Contractors-Feel-the-Sting-of-the-Law

 

AUGUST

 

20090831-Sting-Operation-Targets-Unlicensed-Contractors-in-North-Port-Charlotte-County

 

JULY

 

20090724-Recession-Brings-Out-Unlicensed-Contractors-Consumers-Beware-Duval-County

20090724-Florida-Battling-Unlicensed-Contractors-Leon-County

 

JUNE

 

20090610-8-Arrested-6-More-Charged-In-Unlicensed-Contractor-Sting-Duval-County

20090605-Letter-To-Editor-Catch-Unlicensed-Contractors-St-Johns-County

20090605-DBPR-Release-Investigators-Sweep-State-To-Protect-The-Public-From-Unlicensed-Contractors

20090605-Beauty-School-Students-Alleged-To-Have-Cheated-Sebring

20090604-Shutting-Down-Unlicensed-Contractors-5-Arrested-In-Sting-Operation-Duva-County

 

MAY

 

20090527-Unlicensed-Electrical-Contractors-Allegedly-Claim-To-Be-With-FPL-Dade-County

20090501-Unlicensed-Contractors-Caught-In-Craigslist-Sting-St-Lucie-County

 

 

APRIL

 

20100429-Teacher-Learns-Why-Never-Hire-An-Unlicensed-Contractor-for-Kitchen-Remodel-Lee-County

20090417-DBPR-Release-State-Investigating-31-Unlicensed-Contractors-From-Sting-Orange-County

20090415-Compaint-Spurs-Investigation-into-Pesticides-On-Farm

20090414-DBPR-Release-April-Is-Landscape-Architect-Month

20090414-15-Arrested-In-Unlicensed-Contractor-Sting-Broward-County

20090409-Sting-Operation-Unlicensed-Contractors-Arrested-In-Broward-County

20090409-Man-Denies-Posing-As-A-FEMA-Contractor-Polk-County

20090406-Home-Repair-Scams-On-The-Rise-In-Lee-County

20090401-How-To-Look-At-A-Building-Contractors-Record-Broward-County

20090401-Complaints-Land-Contractors-In-Jail-Broward-County

 

 

MARCH

 

20090331-Asbestos-Ridden-Building-To-Be-Demolished-Orange-County

20090330-State-Investigators-Shutter-Company-about-Contracts-Brevard-County

20090325-Going-To-A-Nail-Salon-What-Questions-To-Ask-Hernando-County

20090316-Make-Sure-Your-Contractor-Pays-His-Bills-Brevard-County

20090305-Sting-Unlicensed-Contracting-Sting-Nets-Four-Arrest-Tampa

20090305-Sting-Fine-Job-On-Unlicensed-Contractors-Manatee-County

20090303-Sting-Targets-Unlicensed-Contractors-Manatee-County

20090303-Sting-Alleged-Unlicensed-Contractors-And-Their-Businesses-Manatee-County

20090303-DBPR-Release-DBPR-Encourages-Consumers-TO-Protect-Themselves-Against-Unlicensed-Contractors

20090302-Unlicensed-Contractors-Busted-In-Sting-Manatee-County

20090302-Nine-Charged-With-Unlicensed-Contracting-In-Sting-Manatee-County1

20090302-Nine-Arrested-In-Area-Unlicensed-Contractor-Sting-Manatee-County

20090302-DBPR-Check-For-License

 

 

FEBRUARY

 

20090227-DBPR-Release-Statewide-Sweep

20090223-State-Officials-Ban-Fish-Pedicures-Sarasota-County

2008

JULY

 

20080715-Unlicensed-Contractor-Targets-South-Florida-Broward-County

 

NOVEMBER

 

20081102-DBPR-Sweeps-Florida-to-Catch-Unlicensed-Contractors

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