Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist announced the arrest of a South Carolina resident for wrongfully soliciting to do roofing repairs in Punta Gorda following Hurricane Charley without a valid Florida contractor’s license.
Four homeowners living in Punta Gorda’s residential zones alerted the Attorney General’s Fraud Prevention Team that Larry Phillips had reportedly offered to patch their leaking roofs for between $200 and $1,200.
The homeowners had agreed to employ Phillips Roofing Company but had second thoughts after seeing news media warnings about out-of-state contractors offering to do cleanup work after the hurricane. The residents, who all received written estimates but paid no money to Phillips, contacted the Fraud Prevention Team, which then alerted the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Phillips, 33, of Aiken, South Carolina, on four counts of contracting without a license during an emergency, a third-degree felony. Bond was set at $2,500 for each count.
During the investigation into Phillips Roofing Company, Larry Phillips’ assistant and brother, Gary, 25, was reportedly arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, a first-degree misdemeanor. He was not charged for contracting without a license. His bond was set at $1,000 and he faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
If convicted of the third-degree felony, Larry Phillips could be sentenced to 5 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
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