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Pool firm accused of ripping off clients lacks native licenses

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – As more desperate customers say Pinellas Marcite Finishers took their money, not delivered, local counties wonder why the company is doing business without the right license.

“We do not believe she is eligible to work in Pinellas County,” said Gay Lancaster, director of the Pinellas County Licensing Committee.

Our investigation by Better Call Behnken has shown that the company does not hold a local license in the Bay Area counties. While headmistress Sue Fortenbery has a state license that expires next month, she cannot legally do business.

This comes after a growing number of customers reached out to Better Call Behnken claiming Pinellas Marcite Finishers and Sue Fortenbery raised thousands of dollars, done little work, and then left them with drained pools of green junk.

“It was a nightmare,” said Dan McIntire, a Largo customer who paid more than $ 5,200 in March. “I worked really hard for this money, you know, and this lady just took our money and stole it.”

Three months later, McIntire only has to show that it is green mass at the bottom of his pool. He says Fortenbery stopped returning his calls.

In Carrollwood, another customer, Lidia Delcuardi, says she paid Sue $ 3,250 for a down payment in April and an additional $ 900 a month later.

8 On Your Side noted that this was not the first time Fortenbery had problems with the business she runs with her husband.

She was arrested in 2016 and 2018 and charged with unlicensed contracts and major theft.

As these charges make the slow way through the legal system and new customers take a step forward, it’s time for Fortenbery to answer questions. She didn’t return calls to comment or open the door.

Pinellas Consumer Protection informs Better Call Behnken that there are 12 open complaints against the company and that an investigation is underway. A spokesman for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says they are investigating two cases involving Sue Fortenbery.