A Florida roofing company owner was arrested last month after allegedly attempting to defraud multiple homeowners out of more than $49,000 and working without workers’ compensation insurance, according to a statement from Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.
Terry Wayne LaCoste, owner of Terry W. LaCoste Weathertight Systems, Inc. and David E. Gilliland, Inc., was arrested after the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud received a tip from the Pinellas County Consumer Protection, Clearwater Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office regarding complaints against LaCoste.
Investigations revealed that LaCoste allegedly victimized a total of six homeowners by making them pay deposits up-front for roofing work. LaCoste either never started on the job or never finished the contracted work. In total, the victims had a financial loss of $49,447 combined.
The investigation also revealed that LaCoste was working without the proper workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
LaCoste was arrested on Dec. 18 and transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident. He faces charges of organized scheme to defraud, theft/misappropriation of construction funds, and working without workers’ compensation insurance coverage. If convicted on all charges, LaCoste faces up to 15 years in prison.
“Fraud like this also steals work from honest businesses and drives up insurance rates for everyone,” Patronis said. “Remember to always verify before you buy and ensure that the contractor you’re hiring is reputable and has the proper insurance coverage before allowing them to start work on your property.”
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services
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