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Community County Law & Order

4 unlicensed, unregulated contractors arrested

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) on Wednesday concluded a joint investigation with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), CCSO’s Seniors vs Crime, and the Citrus County Building Department, rooting out unlicensed individuals who advertise and perform regulated construction work in Citrus County.

CCSO’s Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) and Community Crimes Detectives arrested the following individuals for violations of Florida state statute regarding unlicensed contracting:

    • Jennifer Hatch, DOB: 5-12-82
    • Robert Hatch, DOB: 4-12-83
    • Juan Borges, DOB: 5-22-55
    • Shannon Danekas, DOB: 9-22-84

They were each issued Cease and Desist notices by DBPR and civil citations for violation of county ordinance by the building department:

These unlicensed individuals can cause problems for legitimate contractors as they often falsely portray themselves as having proper licensure. Citizens fall victim to them and unknowingly open themselves up to liability. Licensed contractors must pay workers’ compensation, insurance and license fees making it harder for them to compete with the prices of unlicensed individuals that do not adhere to these regulations.

The most problematic issues that we see with unlicensed individuals is their willingness to defraud their customers by taking large down payments and never returning to perform the work. In addition, it is often more difficult and more expensive to hire a licensed contractor to come in behind an unlicensed individual to fix their mistakes.

“Once again we have had great success in cleaning up the streets of Citrus County by continuing to work with other state and local agencies,” said Sheriff Prendergast. “We are proud to collaborate with local government partners who value excellence in public safety.”

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