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12-292 Sting Nets Arrest Of 10 Unlicensed Contractors Practicing In Pinellas County

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
-Strategic Enforcement Section (S.E.S.)

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation

The Department of Financial Services Insurance Fraud Unit

Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board

What:
A multi-agency undercover operation has resulted in the identification and arrests of 10 individuals who were practicing as unlicensed contractors in Pinellas County. The 10 have been issued misdemeanor notices to appear for violation of the unlicensed contractor statute. (FL Statute # 489.127). The investigation resulted in several other charges to include:

-9 Cease and Desist citations with no fine and 1 $2500 fine issued by the members of the Florida Deparment of Business and Professional Regulation
-9 $500 fines issued by the members of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.
-2 Unrelated misdemeanor arrests for DWLSR and 1 vehicle impound

When:
The operation was conducted during the week of December 10 – 13, 2012

Where:
The sting was conducted at a private home in Dunedin.

Why/How:
The multi-agency operation targeted unlicensed contractors who advertised various types of home repair services to include, roofing, AC repair, plumbing and electrical work. The unlicensed contractors were identified through advertisements listed on Craig’s List, Angie’s List and the Seminole Beacon. According to investigators all the identified ads were published without a license number in the ad.

Investigators made 38 phone calls to the individuals listed in the advertisements and scheduled appointments to the home in Dunedin. A total of 10 individuals from 8 ads arrived and offered their repair services. Quotes ranged anywhere from $50 up to about $1500 depending on the service. Deputies say in one instance one individual offering AC repair services quoted $1567 and wanted $783 immediately.

All 10 of the individuals were issued notices to appear for violation of the unlicensed contractor statute listed above, a second degree misdemeanor. Additional citations and fines are listed above.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who announced the results of the operation, urged Pinellas County residents to protect themselves. “It is very important that people use licensed contractors for work in their homes. Take the time to verify those licenses in order to avoid becoming a victim to those who would prey upon those needing home repair services,” said the Sheriff.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation added: Florida law sets specific rules and guidelines for obtaining professional licensure, and the people who have met these requirements are held to professional standards. Consumers can verify professional licenses online at www.myfloridalicense.com. Floridians should report any suspected unlicensed activity by emailing ULA@dbpr.state.fl.us or calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1-866-532-1440.

Citizens in Pinellas County may also verify an individual’s license through the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board website at www.pcclb.org.

The investigation continues.

ARRESTED SUBJECTS (NTA’s) are as listed below:
Michael David Morrison Jr.
DOB: 01/29/1981
Address: 6465 142nd Avenue North #U104, Clearwater

Eric Michael Pusateri
DOB: 09/22/1976
Address: 307 Avery Avenue #B,Palm Harbor

John Samuel Young
DOB:07/24/1953
Address:9925 Ulmerton Road #253, Largo

Nicholas Achilles Vaseliades
DOB:10/11/1956
Address: 10930 53rd Avenue North St. Petersburg

Lynnoid Damon Stewart
DOB: 06/21/1970
Address: 260 Kingston Street South, St. Petersburg 

Robert  Bhola Deonarine
DOB: 08/25/1977
Address: 6456 41st Avenue North, St. Petersburg

Michael J. Perez
DOB:05/07/1970
Address: 1146 Mancha Real Drive Orlando

Juan J. Dones
DOB: 06/19/1978
Address: 605 Del Rio Street, Orlando

Gamal Ibrahim Baker
DOB: 07/23/1960
2770 Roosevelt Boulevard #3303, Clearwater

Randy Scott Carr
DOB: 12/27/1964
Address: 530 4th Street Northwest, Largo

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