Roofing scammers stole nearly $500,000 from Volusia-Flagler residents after hurricanes, officials say – News – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online
DAYTONA BEACH – Two brothers are accused of stealing nearly half a million dollars from dozens of customers in Volusia and Flagler counties who needed roof repairs and used the loot to pay for expensive vacations, designer equipment, and other personal expenses, according to a state investigation.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and 7th District Attorney RJ Larizza announced Wednesday the arrests of Adolph Carlson, 44, and John Carlson, 41, in Operation Hurricane Hustle, a multi-city investigation Place included.
Each man was charged with two cases of organized fraud worth over $ 50,000. Both were detained without bail, according to arrest warrants released on Wednesday.
The program ran from January 2016 to April 2018, officials said. And while the brothers are accused of cheating on 58 victims in the 7th Circuit, which covers Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam counties, they have more than 150 real estate owners in the state at a cost of more than half a million victims made, said officials.
The Jacksonville brothers, who ran Carlson Enterprises, are charged with defrauding 58 residents who lost $ 455,660 on roofing work they paid for but didn’t complete, or who now have mortgages on homes because the Carlsons don’t Have paid subcontractors.
Sometimes the Carlsons would let the work do the job, but then they would not pay the subcontractors, resulting in homeowners who had already paid for the work having their homes mortgaged by the subcontractors. In other cases, homeowners advocated insurance checks with Carlson Enterprises and no work was done.
“These people paid the money and got no work on their house,” said Larizza.
Of the 58 victims, most were in Volusia County, seven in Flagler County and one in St. Johns. Prosecutors have not released any of the victims’ names, citing Marsy’s Law, a new measure that victims can use to prevent disclosure of information that could be used to find or harass victims or their families. The law has created confusion as it is in conflict with public record laws.
Larizza said law enforcement officers would be looking at ways to evade a refund from the brothers.
He said Carlson Enterprises seemed to be doing fine for a while.
“They ran a successful business, but then they got greedy,” said Larizza. “You robbed Peter to pay Paul. You promised work and didn’t do it.”
Moody said at least one of the brothers used the company’s bank account for “extravagant personal expenses that would include flight ticket accommodation at Disney resorts and even Louis Vuitton.” Vuitton is a manufacturer of high-end designer purses and other items.
Moody called the Carlson Enterprises tactics “unfortunate” and said many of the victims were seniors who had endured Hurricanes Matthew and Irma and only wanted their roofs repaired.
“But the actions of the defendants made them more concerned about potentially losing thousands of dollars and continuing to live in damaged homes,” Moody said.
Moody urged anyone who believed they were a victim of a scam to call the office at 866-9-NOSCAM (866-966-7226).
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood warned potential fraudsters.
“I think an unscrupulous message is being sent to unscrupulous contractors today that if you fall victim to our residents, you will take the full weight of the law on you.”
Prosecutors have not published the names of the victims of Hurricane Hustle, the news journal would like to hear from those who would like to tell their stories. Call Frank Fernandez at 386-681-2771 or email him with your story at [email protected]
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