Shocking News! Florida Pool Company Owner Sentenced to 18 Years for Defrauding Homeowners

Shocking News! Florida Pool Company Owner Sentenced to 18 Years for Defrauding Homeowners

Tampa —

An 18-year prison term was handed down on Thursday to the owner of a Palm Springs pool firm, after almost 100 Floridians spent thousands of dollars to have the backyard pool of their dreams, only to have it turned into a hole.

Diana Decker of Westlake had saved up the money to build a backyard pool, even though it is a pricey endeavor. She believed she invested her money in Villa Pavers and Pools in 2020, a respectable business.

In2021, Decker remarked, “It makes you not want to trust anybody.”

Ricardo Villarroel Duerto, the proprietor of the company, was charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering after a state inquiry revealed that the business was operating without a license.

Over the course of several years in Florida, Villarroel is accountable for scamming Decker and about a hundred homes out of more than $1 million in unpaid pool maintenance. The lawsuit was handled by the Florida Attorney General’s office.

Shocking News! Florida Pool Company Owner Sentenced to 18 Years for Defrauding Homeowners

Image: Yahoo

“Your money is being sentenced to prison for the individual who stole it. According to Tampa plaintiff’s lawyer Chris Castillo of Apex Law Firm, “it’s highly unlikely he’s going to be repaying you or be able to get a job to be able to repay you anytime soon.”

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Wesley Chapel, Temple Terrace, and Clearwater residents were the three victims of Villaroel’s deception. Rather of defending victims against Villarroel, Castillo handles consumer cases. Looking for contractor work? Here are some things you should be aware of, according to him.

Do some internet research on them. Take a look at their Better Business Bureau and Google reviews. Castillo stated, “They can review official court records at your county clerk’s office and file complaints with the Better Business Bureau.”

It is advised that you obtain multiple quotes for the work, carefully review any contracts, and always verify the licensing online. Castillo, however, advises taking action if you feel you’re not getting what you paid for.

“Complaining to the attorney general’s office is something I wholeheartedly advise. There is a wing dedicated to protecting consumers against fraud,” Castillo said.

According to court records, victims spent tens of thousands of dollars for down payments or costs associated with a pool they never received, and recouping those funds can be difficult. Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier, Hendry, Hillsborough, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, and Seminole counties were among the areas where Villarroel specifically targeted his victims.

The result of the inquiry, according to the Attorney General’s Office, was that Villarroel collaborated with Conquer Builders’ licensed general contractor Luis Alvarez, who helped Villa Pavers and Pools deceive residents all around the state. According to the office, Alvarez gave an unlicensed contractor company, Villa Pavers and Pools, the right to utilize his general contractor license in order to get building permits and show a contractor license to homeowners.

According to AG Ashley Moody, Villarroel engaged two salespeople, Michael Borrego Fernandez and Laura Ballester Alpizar, to close agreements and utilized the license rather frequently. With the same charges as Villarroel, Alvarez, Borrego, and Ballester are detained.

Borrego and Ballester are free on bond, and Alvarez entered a guilty plea to both charges, according to the Attorney General’s Office. A sentencing is still pending.

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