Texas Man Arrested For Construction Fraud

Tampa, Fla. (970 WFLA)- On March 2,  the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Construction Fraud Unit received a fax  from an anonymous citizen regarding an advertisement for roof repairs.

Detectives began an inquiry into the advertisement and learned the company, "Smart Choice Roofing", and its representative, Danny Peres, were not licensed in Florida to contract roofing services, which is a regulated trade.

On March 9, detectives contacted the representative,  30 year old  Danny Peres,   who resides in Texas and requested a roofing quote.   Mr. Peres met undercover  detectives,  and contracted roof repair services with the detective.   Mr. Peres was arrested on scene without incident. 

This operation was conducted in coordination with investigators for the Florida Bureau of Investigative and Forensic Services. 

Mr. Peres was charged two misdemeanors and one felony: Operating a Motor Vehicle without a Valid License, Engaging in Contracting Business without a License, and Failure to Secure Worker's Compensation Insurance.

During an interview detectives discovered Mr. Peres was possibly working with as many as forty potential customers.

Although there are several contracting schemes, fraudulent contracting practices will generally involve:

-Hasty estimates.

-Assurances that their price cannot be beat.

-Promises of reducing material costs as they have materials left over from other jobs/projects.

-Poorly written estimates or poor quality copies of insurance paperwork.

-The representative will often ask for a down payment for materials prior to beginning the work.

If you suspect an unlicensed contractor, contact the Sheriff's Office.

Photo And Graphic Credit: Hillsborough Sheriff's Office

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