The president of a Florida-based pool construction company recently surrendered himself to police amid charges that he misappropriated construction funds.
Richard Lawrence Woods, president of Paradise Pools in St. Augustine, Fla., has been charged with four counts of fraud. He stands accused of taking more than $83,000 for pool construction services that were never completed. This occurred at four residences between 2014 and 2015, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
Each count is a second-degree felony, said a representative from the Florida state attorney’s office.
The arrest warrant stated that one of the alleged victims had a lien placed on her house by a subcontractor, who said she was forced to pay in order to close on the property and move into the residence. The warrant also said that Woods had more than $133,000 available to complete all unfinished pool projects, yet the funds were used for other purposes.
In the incident report, a relative of one of Woods’s alleged victims claimed that the builder “basically dug the hole and poured concrete and left the job at 40 percent complete.”
The investigation began in February, when one of the alleged victims reported suspected misappropriation of construction funds. Officials are not aware if there are any other alleged victims, within or outside Florida.
The St. Johns County Contractors Licensing Board ultimately revoked Woods’s contractor’s license and fined him for his failure to complete work, explained documents obtained from the St. John County Sheriff’s Office.
Woods was released after posting a $40,000 bond. The case is currently set for arraignment on October 3 in St. Augustine.