State Regulatory Agency, Local Law Enforcement ‘Sting’ Unlicensed Contractors in Jacksonville

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) announced the conclusion of a sting operation that identified unlicensed contractors in the Jacksonville area. Working together with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) and the Florida Department of Financial Services – Division of Workers’ Compensation, DBPR investigators identified eight unlicensed contractors who were allegedly advertising for contracting services, such as electrical, plumbing or roofing, which require a Florida license.

DBPR cited the eight unlicensed individuals for contracting without a license and issued Notices to Cease and Desist or Citations. JSO physically arrested Dennis Kratzer, 46, of St. Augustine, for not having identification. The following individuals were also issued Notices to Appear by JSO upon arriving at the operation location to perform unlicensed contracting work:

Robert Richard Barry, Jr., 55, of Jacksonville;
Fred Preston Cone Evatt, Jr., 39, of Fernandina Beach;
Craig Alan Svoboda, 51, of Neptune Beach;
Timothy Lee White, 55, of Jacksonville;
Timothy Wayne Sullivan, 46, of Jacksonville;
Johnny Morgan, Jr., 44, of Jacksonville; and
Merle Dave Wadlow, 57, of Jacksonville.

“DBPR continues to partner with local and state agencies to proactively combat unlicensed activity in an effort to protect Florida’s consumers and maintain the integrity of the construction industry, especially during a time of construction growth throughout the state,” DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson said. “Unlicensed contractors lack the necessary training, qualifications and insurance to complete a job in compliance with building codes and often leave homeowners responsible for any additional costs to repair substandard work.”

Unlicensed activity occurs when an individual offers to perform or performs services that require a state license and the individual does not hold the required license. Florida law sets specific rules and guidelines for obtaining professional licensure, and the people who have met these requirements are held to professional standards. Consumers can verify professional licenses online at www.myfloridalicense.com.

Unlicensed activity is illegal and can result in misdemeanor or felony charges if an individual is convicted. Floridians should report any suspected unlicensed activity by emailing ULA (at) myfloridalicense (dot) com or calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1-866-532-1440. The individuals involved in the sting operation will be referred to the local state attorney’s office for criminal prosecution.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from hotels and restaurants, real estate agents and certified public accountants to veterinarians, contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.myfloridalicense.com.

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More information about DBPR is available online at www.myfloridalicense.com. Also, follow @FloridaDBPR on Twitter or Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Facebook for updates about license cycles, events and other important news.

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