A lawsuit has alleged that a Florida-based contractor faked his own death in order to avoid unsatisfied homeowners, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
It all started when Glenn and Judith Holland hired Marc Anthony Perez, 52, in April to spruce up their new home. They gave the contractor eight months to create a new kitchen, remodel a bathroom, install a hot water heater and carry out duct repairs. They also gave him nearly $8,000.
Judith Holland became disheartened to discover that very little work had been done by July. That didn’t change once October rolled around, according to the lawsuit.
Perez continued to demand money from the couple, with the couple noting that he “assured them he would correct the poor workmanship,” the lawsuit said.
That’s when Judith was diagnosed with cancer. Despite this harrowing turn of events, they were still excited to move by mid-December, the due date on the repairs.
Their newly purchased home remained in disrepair, past the deadline.
Judith immediately texted the contractor, demanding answers.
“This is Marc’s daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry,” the response read, according to the lawsuit.
Lawsuit: Florida contractor fakes death to dodge angry homeowners https://t.co/4oJGAMcSf2
— Justine unSafe (@FL_narcissist) June 25, 2017
The couple became suspicious and decided to play amateur detective, staking out the contractor’s home. They caught the 52-year-old hopping into his truck one morning in March.
“I never thought someone would go to that extreme to rip someone off,” Glenn, a Vietnam veteran, told reporters.
That’s when the Hollands decided to take Perez to court.
The plaintiffs allege they had to dole out an additional $15,000 to fix their house, in addition to the $7,600 they paid Perez. They are suing for that, and much more, in damages, the Tampa Bay Times has reported.
“I want to get my hands on him,” Glenn recalled. “The man cost us $13,000. He faked his death to avoid paying us. I thought about driving up to him and jumping out.”
The Hollands later discovered that Perez wasn’t even a licensed contractor and that he never paid for any permits. The building was also not up to code, according to the lawsuit.
The county’s Consumer Protection Office has stated that they’re investigating the case.
“You always hear about these things happening, but you never think it would be you,” Glenn said. “It frustrates me that there are people like this.”
A reporter phoned Perez, to ask about the lawsuit, and a man, reportedly the contractor, answered and claimed to be someone else. The next day the number was disconnected.
[Featured Image: The Blue Diamond Gallery/Creative Commons]