PALM COAST, Fla. – An unlicensed contractor is under investigation after he accepted thousands of dollars to pave a Palm Coast woman's driveway and then left her hanging, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office.
Yosvel Basart, 35, who is wanted on suspicion of violating probation, now faces a felony grand theft charge for bilking the 63-year-old victim out of nearly $3,500, the Sheriff's Office said.
The victim did not know Basart was unlicensed when she hired him June 16. She agreed to pay half of his fee, or $3,494, upfront and he cashed her check the same day, according to a case report.
Basart said he was busy and could not start work for three weeks. But when six weeks ticked by and work had still not begun. Confronted by the victim, Basart reluctantly agree to refund the deposit.
When work had still not gotten underway and she wasn't reimbursed, the victim went to the authorities to file a fraud complaint. The victim later identified Basart through a photo lineup.
It turns out, Basart has an extensive criminal history in Flagler County. Deputies said he's been arrested nine times since 2009 for charges ranging from assault on a corrections officer to domestic violence.
Sheriff Rick Staly took the case as an opportunity to remind people that they should always be on the lookout for potential frauds.
"You should always confirm the contractor is licensed, bonded and insured to do the work before signing any written agreement and before making any payment," Staly said.
Anyone with information on Basart's whereabouts is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (386) 313-4911.