|Roofing contractor faces 14 fraud counts for lack of insurance|
|The Press - News|
|Written by Joel Addington|
|Thursday, 26 July 2012 11:23|
A Glen St. Mary roofing contractor paid thousands of dollars for jobs that reportedly never got off the ground or remained unfinished after months and months is facing 14 counts of fraud for his lack of liability insurance.
Darrell G. Perry, Jr., 32, has pulled 14 permits at the county building department since September, 2011 using documents allegedly forged to show he had liability coverage, according to police.
The latest permit was issued to reroof a mobile home owned by Donnie Jacobs on Woodrow Raulerson Road and enlarge the roof to accommodate a patio and porch.
Mr. Jacobs, 58, said he paid Mr. Perry $4,000 in June to start the job on July 1, but it wasn’t until July 12 that the contractor sunk 14 posts that have since begun to warp in the sun.
Mr. Jacobs is recovering from a heart transplant in January and takes a host of medications. He said his only income is from disability and his wife’s salary at Northeast Florida State Hospital.
“I get up every morning and take beaucoup medicines. I’ve been through quite an ordeal. I might of died at Shands if I hadn’t gotten a new heart,” he said. “I’m certain I don’t need all this stress right now.”
He said Mr. Perry has not made any more progress on his new roof, other than to park a trailer at his property.
“It’s just been excuse after excuse,” he said. “And now he won’t return my calls.”
Another client of Mr. Perry’s, Richard Overland of Mud Lake Road, gave the contractor a $10,000 deposit last April for a new tile roof on his home. He said the project has not been completed and he can’t reach Mr. Perry.
Mr. Overland’s mother, Betty Bonner, signed a contract with Mr. Perry in November, 2011 for work at her home on SR 121 South. She said the roofer hasn’t finished her project, either, though the uncompleted portions are minor.
County building department director Bob Hathcox said he recently filed two complaints against Mr. Perry with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which is investigating the suspect as well. Mr. Perry holds a state contracting license as well as a county license.
The complaints were for failing to obtain liability insurance and starting a pair of roofing projects in the north county without permits from the building department.
Mr. Hathcox said his office began looking into Mr. Perry’s file after reports surfaced last week that he wasn’t finishing work in a timely fashion. He said Mr. Perry filed a Certificate of Liability Insurance as proof of coverage from February 2012 to February 2013 through Lake City-based Hunter Insurance Agency.
But when Mr. Hathcox attempted to verify the coverage existed, he found it did not.
The building department director alerted the sheriff’s office on July 18, when Deputy Daryl Mobley began his investigation.
The officer contacted the Lake City agent, Travis Hunter, as well, who advised that Mr. Perry’s policy began in February, 2011, but lapsed about six months later due to nonpayment and a new policy was never secured, Deputy Mobley’s report shows.
“Travis further stated the copy of the Certificate of Liability Insurance that Darrell provided was fraudulent,” states the report.
Deputy Mobley went on to say the insurance agent was “100 percent certain” the document was forged because the font and format of the policy number and the effective and expiration dates on Mr. Perry’s certificate did not match those used by his office.
Based on the information provided by Mr. Hunter and Mr. Hathcox, Deputy Mobley charged Mr. Perry with 14 counts of filing false, fictitious or fraudulent statements, which is a third-degree felony.
When asked about the county’s policy for verifying liability coverage of the contractors it licenses, Mr. Hathcox conceded they are not routinely verified. He said his office collects documentation on contractors “by the ton,” making verification of each liability policy unmanageable with existing resources.
Unless there’s a reason to believe a contractor’s documentation is inaccurate, it goes unchecked, he said, adding that all contractors are required to submit proof of their state contractors license, workers compensation insurance and liability insurance before receiving county licenses.
Due to Mr. Perry’s lack of insurance, Mr. Hathcox said the county will not issue the contractor, which owns Perry Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., any more permits until he meets all the requirements.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 11:35|