Woman scammed out of $73K hired fake contractor to build her a barn

Detectives in Volusia County say a man convinced a woman he was a licensed contractor before allegedly scamming her out of more than $70,000.A woman in DeLeon Springs found 39-year-old Joseph England when she was searching online for someone to build her a barn. The sheriff’s office now says it has an arrest warrant for England, accusing him of falsely impersonating a licensed contractor, grand theft and obtaining property by fraud.“They’re stealing money not only from you but from the contractors that do things the right way and follow the law,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.The charging paperwork says England convinced the victim that “he was a licensed contractor in the State of Florida and could obtain all the permitting.” The scam happened in a series of three different transactions to allegedly cover materials and other issues. The report says the victim was “scammed out of approximately $73,800.” The state eventually determined England “did not hold a contractor license.”The Volusia County Sheriff’s office has not picked up England but wanted to get his image and name out in case there are other potential victims.”We need your help in locking this guy up. This guy doesn’t need to be out roaming the streets. We pray there aren’t any more victims, but that’s why we need to get this information out there to find this out,” Chitwood said.The sheriff’s office says England eventually “stopped communicating with her altogether on the project” and that there had been no response to letters sent to England demanding reimbursement.Investigators will work to get her cash back.”We gotta get our hands on him first, so that we can lock him down and hopefully seize his assets and go that route,” Chitwood said. Remember, before hiring anyone to do work on or around your home, make sure they are licensed by the state of Florida.Sunbiz and the Better Business Bureau are good resources for handyman services and work that doesn’t require a state license.If someone comes to your door offering services you didn’t ask for, call the Volusia County sheriff’s office at 386-248-1777 right away.

Detectives in Volusia County say a man convinced a woman he was a licensed contractor before allegedly scamming her out of more than $70,000.

A woman in DeLeon Springs found 39-year-old Joseph England when she was searching online for someone to build her a barn.

The sheriff’s office now says it has an arrest warrant for England, accusing him of falsely impersonating a licensed contractor, grand theft and obtaining property by fraud.

“They’re stealing money not only from you but from the contractors that do things the right way and follow the law,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

The charging paperwork says England convinced the victim that “he was a licensed contractor in the State of Florida and could obtain all the permitting.”

The scam happened in a series of three different transactions to allegedly cover materials and other issues.

The report says the victim was “scammed out of approximately $73,800.”

The state eventually determined England “did not hold a contractor license.”

The Volusia County Sheriff’s office has not picked up England but wanted to get his image and name out in case there are other potential victims.

“We need your help in locking this guy up. This guy doesn’t need to be out roaming the streets. We pray there aren’t any more victims, but that’s why we need to get this information out there to find this out,” Chitwood said.

The sheriff’s office says England eventually “stopped communicating with her altogether on the project” and that there had been no response to letters sent to England demanding reimbursement.

Investigators will work to get her cash back.

“We gotta get our hands on him first, so that we can lock him down and hopefully seize his assets and go that route,” Chitwood said.

Remember, before hiring anyone to do work on or around your home, make sure they are licensed by the state of Florida.

Sunbiz and the Better Business Bureau are good resources for handyman services and work that doesn’t require a state license.

If someone comes to your door offering services you didn’t ask for, call the Volusia County sheriff’s office at 386-248-1777 right away.