News from BSO

BSO BRINGS DOWN THE HAMMER ON UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS

Date: April 29, 2014                                                                     PIO Number: 14-4-35

The Broward Sheriff’s Office cracked down on unlicensed contractors committing fraud in Broward County. The two-day operation was conducted in collaboration with several state and local agencies.

On April 23 and 24, BSO Economic Crimes detectives set up a series of meetings with suspicious contractors in a home in Weston. Undercover detectives posed as homeowners looking to renovate. During the exchange, the contractors, many of whom had received prior citations, were asked if they were licensed and insured. Each affirmed that they were. None of the 30 contractors had the proper license or insurance to perform the work they were offering to do. The operation yielded 30 citations and 26 arrests. 

BSO detectives warn that unlicensed contractors try to lure consumers with cheaper prices, but their work is often done without the appropriate permits and may not be up to code. Disreputable contractors oftentimes take the consumer’s money and never complete the job.

Before signing an agreement with any contractor, consumers should carefully review the agreement and verify a contractor's license and track record. Consumers should familiarize themselves with Florida's construction lien laws (sections 713.001 - 713.37) or consult an attorney regarding your rights and responsibilities regarding construction contracts.

For more information on working with contractors and state and county regulations, visit these web sites:
State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Broward County Central Examining Board

INVESTIGATORS: BSO Sgt. Bill Weir Economic Crimes/CID 
BSO Capt. Kevin Butler D8
Florida Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation
Division of Insurance Fraud, Homeland Security,
Florida Dept. of Financial Fraud, Fannie Mae,
Broward County Permitting, Licensing and Consumer Protection

THIS REPORT BY: Gina Carter/PIO 4/29/14 915

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