3 Florida Men Charged With Unlicensed Contracting
It seems like scams happen everywhere. People all over Florida are engaging in fraud schemes to part residents of their hard-earned money.
This is especially true when it comes to rebuilding homes after a disaster. After Hurricane Ian hit Florida hard in September 2022, people wanted to take advantage of this. There were signs stating that it was against the law to work as a general contractor without a license.
Despite the literal signs, many people proceeded to sell their services as contractors, plumbers, and electricians without a license.
Since August, three Southwest Florida residents have been involved in four complaints by the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). The men allegedly performed construction work in Lee and Collier counties without a proper license.
Two of the men misrepresented someone else’s license as their own. In some cases, it is legal to work under another contractor’s license in Florida under a provision known as a qualifier. This would allow you to rent another person’s license. However, it is illegal to misrepresent another’s license as your own. Under Florida Statute 489.12, unlicensed contractors can face fines of up to $10,000.
In August, an administrative complaint was filed against Naples resident James Noel McCommon. He has been accused of doing business as a company called South West Florida Home Pros, but without a Florida contractor license. The man presented the homeowner with a license belonging to another person. He received payment for plumbing done on a Naples home, even though he and South West Florida Home Pros were not registered to perform plumbing in Florida.
That same month, Scott Allen Norelius of Cape Coral had a complaint filed against him for performing unlicensed roofing work under the business name of Sunny Day Construction, Inc.
He had presented a homeowner with a business card with a valid Florida’s roofing license number. However, the license belonged to another man. Norelius was at no point qualified to conduct the work he did in Florida.
Cape Coral resident Dudley M. McClain is the subject of two complaints: one for unlicensed contracting and another for replacement of electrical outlets without a license on the same home. McClain was doing plumbing work and vanity installations under the name BTC FL Inc. He claims that the complaints should have been issued to the general contractor, not him.
McClain says he doesn’t “have a clue what happened.” He was hired as a subcontractor and only performed drywall work. He claims he didn’t have anything to do with the electrical or plumbing.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), however, claims that the administrative complaints were issued correctly. An investigation was triggered by BTC FL Inc.’s owner, Gregory G. Bertold, who says the man used his name and license when performing electrical work without a license.
McClain maintains that he did not intend to contract for any regulated trades. He claimed he contracted electrical and plumbing work out to licensed contractors and paid Bergtold for the use of his license. However, this is still considered illegal under state law.
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General contractors need to be licensed. Homeowners should not hire anyone who fails to provide them with licensing information or a contract.
At Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A., we provide experienced legal representation for Florida contractors, subcontractors, and homeowners. With our extensive expertise and knowledge, you can count on us to handle your construction-related legal concerns. To schedule a consultation with our Florida construction lawyers, call 561-626-8880 or fill out the online form.