State Lawyer: Flagler pool contractors defrauded prospects $455,000, left them ‘excessive and dry’ – Information – Daytona Seashore Information-Journal On-line
A multi-agency investigation found that two pool contractors collected payments from 12 customers between September 2017 and February 2019 but did not complete the contracts
Two contractors in Flagler County raised money from customers to install a dozen different swimming pools in the ground.
However, according to an investigation by several authorities, the contractors did not show up until they had fully completed the work.
After a year of investigation, the Flagler County Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff’s Office found that Carlos Hernan Longo and Romina Cynthia Campello De Longo – the married owners of Crystal Clear Pools – defrauded clients with over $ 455,000 worth of unfinished jobs had.
The Palm Coast couple were arrested Wednesday morning and booked on multiple fraud allegations, according to a joint press release from the two agencies.
“Crystal Clear Pools took advantage of customers who trusted they would deliver the promised services according to their specific agreements, but they took their customers’ money and ran – and left it up and dry,” prosecutor RJ Larizza said in the press release.
Longo, 53, and De Longo, 47, were charged with over $ 50,000 in organized fraud. Grand Theft of funds received by a contractor in excess of $ 1,000; and 10 offenses count each piece of major theft of funds received by a contractor over $ 20,000. Both were held in Flagler County Jail on bail of $ 320,000.
According to Wednesday’s press release, one of the victims reported the fraudulent activity to the sheriff’s office in May 2019. The customer stated that he signed a contract with Crystal Clear Pools in August 2018 for the installation of a swimming pool in his apartment. According to the investigators, the contractors have only completed 80% of the work and did not show up for work despite receiving four certified letters from the victim, who had already paid almost all of the construction costs.
The investigation uncovered complaints from several other customers who claimed Crystal Clear Pools collected payments from them for building pools between September 2017 and February 2019. Authorities claim Longo and De Longo have approved, deposited or cashed payments from 12 different customers totaling $ 455,745 for work in progress.
“All 12 victims in these cases had a hole in the ground that could not be used as a pool and then had to hire another licensed contractor to do the job they had already paid Crystal Clear Pools for.” Rick Staly, Flagler County Sheriff, said in the release on Wednesday. “Now the victims have lost even more money because these two fraudulently raised money with no intention of doing the jobs.”