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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT….WFLA 8: “8 Charged in unlicensed contractor sting in Polk County”


“8 Charged in unlicensed contractor sting in Polk County”
Channel 8 News WFLA | Story by Melissa Marino
June 22, 2016
To Read the Full Article Click HERE

Police busted eight men in an undercover sting that focused on unlicensed contractors.

Investigators say they advertised their ability to perform wide-ranging plumbing and electrical work without proper licenses or training. All but one had no worker’s compensation coverage to protect their employees in the event of an accident or injury.

During the operation, detectives responded to public advertisements, created by the suspects, requesting that they perform services at a home in Lakeland. The workers were invited to the home by an undercover detective posing as a homeowner in need of home repairs. Once they provided the undercover detective with a proposal for work that would require a contractor’s license in the state of Florida, they were in violation.

The following seven suspects were arrested between June 16th and 20th and were all charged with engaging in a business as a contractor without a license and failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage: Justin Cortes, 48, of Polk City; Greatlen Bozeman, 44, of Winter Haven; Herbert Vanegas, 54, of Lakeland; Henricus Van Der Linden, 56, of Winter Haven; Stuart Rhodes, 67, of Lakeland; Juan Carlos Diaz, 35, of Lakeland, and Raymond Figueroa-Garcia, 30, of Winter Haven.

Raymond Perdue, age 45, had his worker’s compensation insurance, but did not have a contractor’s license.

Agencies involved include: LPD, State Attorney’s Office 10th Judicial Circuit, Florida Department of Financial Services Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Compliance, and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.