Florida Fraud Strike Team Arrests Unlicensed Contractor in Panhandle
An unlicensed contractor operating in the Florida Panhandle has been arrested by the Florida Disaster Fraud Action Strike Force (DFAST) for allegedly conducting roofing repairs following Hurricane Michael, according to a statement from Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis.
Ashley Porterfield, owner of Porterfield Building, was arrested Nov. 20 on charges of unlicensed contracting, a third-degree felony during a state of emergency. DFAST reportedly observed employees of Porterfield Building repairing a damaged roof while deployed to the Panhandle following Hurricane Michael.
Investigators made contact to verify the company had the proper licensure and workers’ compensation insurance coverage required by Florida law. It was discovered that Porterfield was not licensed to conduct business in the state.
“The Panhandle is recovering after Hurricane Michael, but unlicensed contractors could deal another blow to Florida families,” Patronis said. “Unlicensed activity puts Floridians in danger and takes business away from reputable contractors that follow the law. Before allowing anyone to make repairs, verify they have the required licenses and insurance. While hurricane season ends tomorrow, we will keep working to protect residents and business owners as they rebuild.”
Porterfield was and booked into the Bay County Jail and if convicted, could face up to 5 years in prison.
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services