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Vero Seashore pool contractors arrested, accused of cash laundering

Vero Beach pool operator arrested on charges of money laundering

Suspects have targeted hundreds of homeowners in Treasure Coast and beyond, officials say

Updated: 11:54 AM EDT October 6, 2021

Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents arrested Florida pool entrepreneurs Brian and Chrystal Washburn of Amore ‘Pools Inc, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement press release. Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The defendants took thousands of dollars in advance payments and then dug holes in customers’ backyards with no intention of ever finishing the work they were paid to do. This fraudulent pool contracting system has harmed dozens of Floridians and violated several state laws. We will ensure that these defendants are held accountable for their crimes. ”Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said,“ When fraud occurs it often affects more than just a bank account. These Floridians worked tirelessly to save a swimming pool for their family only to have their hard-earned money stolen and their property damaged. As your CFO, I am committed to tackling criminals who want hard-working Floridians to use as their own personal ATMs. I am grateful for the collaboration between my fraud detectives, the Florida Attorney General, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and everyone involved in putting an end to this fraud scheme and ensuring that those involved are held accountable, “said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen , “Every action has been taken by Brian and Chrystal Washburn to commit this fraud, from obtaining the contractor’s original license, to withdrawing large deposits from their victims, to cashing the deposit checks from Amore’s pools. I appreciate the long hours and hard work of our FDLE agents, analysts and partners to stop this system and save other homeowners from becoming victims. ”Once a contract was signed, FDLE investigators said that the victims had to pay a down payment of 25 percent. Homeowners in the Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Martin counties signed contracts with Amore ‘Pools, officials said. “In some cases, projects were abandoned before work began, but sometimes the Washburns dug large holes in the victims’ backyards with dangerous piles of debris around the project site,” the statement said. Investigators said the overwhelming majority of the pools never closed. FDLE agents say the program resulted in over $ 2 million in losses to hundreds of victims. After receiving deposit checks from homeowners, the Washburns allegedly used an outside check cashing business to convert the checks into cash in order to hide the illicit funds. The Washburns were posted in the Indian River County Jail. This case is handled by Office. prosecuted the state prosecutor.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents arrested Florida pool entrepreneurs Brian and Chrystal Washburn of Amore ‘Pools Inc, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The defendants took thousands of dollars in advance payments and then dug holes in customers’ backyards with no intention of ever finishing the work they were paid to do. This fraudulent pool contracting system has harmed dozens of Floridians and violated several state laws. We will ensure that these defendants are held accountable for their criminal acts. “

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “When fraud occurs it often affects more than just a bank account. These Floridians worked tirelessly to save a swimming pool for their family only to have their hard-earned money stolen and their property damaged. As your CFO, I am committed to tackling criminals who want hard-working Floridians to use as their own personal ATMs. I am grateful for the collaboration between my fraud detectives, the Florida Attorney General, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and everyone involved in putting an end to this fraud scheme and ensuring that those involved are held accountable. “

FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said: “Every action taken by Brian and Chrystal Washburn to commit this fraud, from obtaining the license of the original contractor, to collecting large deposits from their victims, to cashing the deposit checks from Amore’s pools.” . I appreciate the long hours and hard work of our FDLE agents, analysts and partners to stop this system and save other homeowners from becoming victims. ”

Once a contract was signed, FDLE investigators said the victims were required to pay a 25 percent deposit. Homeowners in the Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Martin counties signed contracts with Amore ‘Pools, officials said. “In some cases, projects were abandoned before work began, but sometimes the Washburns dug large holes in the victims’ backyards with dangerous piles of debris around the project site,” the statement said. Investigators said the overwhelming majority of the pools were never completed.

FDLE agents say the system has resulted in over $ 2 million in losses to hundreds of victims.

After receiving deposit checks from homeowners, the Washburns allegedly used an outside check cashing business to convert the checks into cash in order to hide the illicit funds.

The Washburns were booked into the Indian River County Jail.

This case is being prosecuted by the public prosecutor.