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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Four Arrests in $1 Million Miami Pool Contractor Fraud Scheme

10/29/2021

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Four Arrests in $1 Million Miami Pool Contractor Fraud Scheme
 
MIAMI, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Ricardo Villarroel Duerto, owner of Villa Pavers and Pools for allegedly defrauding nearly 100 homeowners throughout the state in excess of $1 million. Luis Alvarez Daboin of Conquer Pools, and Villa Pavers and Pools salespersons Michael Borrego Fernandez and Laura Ballester Alpizar were also arrested in connection to the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by the Florida Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “When Florida families use a pool contractor, they should not have to worry that the person they hire is going to take the money and run. As CFO, I’m committed to putting an end to contractor fraud and I am grateful that this scheme was uncovered, and these alleged fraudsters are off the street before they could take advantage of anyone else. Thank you to Attorney General Ashley Moody for her commitment to ensure these contractors are held accountable for their crimes.”
 
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “These defendants intentionally ripped-off Florida families trying to obtain pools and better their homes—causing more than a million dollars in fraud. I am grateful for CFO Patronis and DFS investigators for taking action and stopping this scheme affecting Floridians across the state. My Statewide Prosecutors will make it known to all parties involved that we will not permit shady contractors stealing Floridians hard-earned money.”
 
CFO Patronis’ Division of Investigative & Forensics Services (DIFS) initiated an investigation into Villa Pavers and Pools after receiving a complaint that the company would obtain a portion of the price of pool installation from a homeowner, then never completed the job and failed to pay the subcontractors and pool suppliers. The DIFS investigation revealed that the alleged business model for Villa Pavers and Pools was to collect 40 percent of the initial contracted price to install a pool, with no intent of doing the job and leaving behind an unusable backyard with a giant hole where the pool would have been installed. DIFS also uncovered that licensed general contractor Luis Alvarez Daboin of Conquer Pools was allegedly aiding and abetting unlicensed contractor Ricardo Villarroel Duerto, owner of Villa Pavers and Pools to defraud homeowners throughout the state. Luis Alvarez Daboin allegedly sold the use of his general contractor license to Villa Pavers and Pools to present a contractor license to homeowners and obtain building permits.
 
Ricardo Villarroel Duerto, Michael Borrego Fernandez, Laura Ballester Alpizar and Luis Alvarez Daboin were arrested on October 27. Each subject has been charged with one count of racketeering. If convicted, they could face up to 30 years in prison. Additional arrests are expected.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).