JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville roofer accused of taking more than $50,000 from customers but not doing the contracted work is paying those customers back after pleading guilty to four felony charges.
Roger Van Den Bosch, the owner of Kinnecorps, LLC, was arrested in December on five felony charges, including organized fraud, forgery, and grand theft.
In a separate arrest last October, he was charged with a felony for failing to secure worker’s compensation coverage.
As part of a plea deal finalized Thursday morning for both cases, Van Den Bosch agreed to pay restitution to the customers, will be on probation for two years and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
If he violates his probation, Van Den Bosch faces a prison sentence of up to 45 years. Two felony charges were dropped as part of the plea deal.
As the I-TEAM has been reporting for months, investigators with Florida’s Department of Financial Services had accused Van Den Bosch of defrauding customers by requesting they sign an assignment of benefits, known as AOB, which allowed his company to accept payment from the insurance company for the repairs. But investigators said that after the checks were received and cashed, the contractor didn’t perform the contracted work.
When Van Den Bosch left court Thursday, the I-TEAM asked him if he had any comment about the plea deal and the accusations against him. The roofer kept walking without responding before getting into a waiting vehicle.
Prosecutors tell the I-TEAM that the customers involved agreed with this plea deal in order to get the restitution. After the court hearing, the I-TEAM heard from Eddie Albert, a Kinnecorps customer who the I-TEAM spoke with in December. Albert was pleased by the outcome of the case.
"I desperately needed this money to take care of other things, and all I can say is thank you to the I-TEAM for initiating this whole thing, and thank you to Mai Tran (prosecutor) for doing what needed to be done to get restitution for the folks who were hurt," Albert said.
Van Den Bosch will now be considered a convicted felon. Nothing in his plea agreement prohibits Van Den Bosch from working as a contractor.
Van Den Bosch's construction licenses are issued by the city of Jacksonville. Following the guilty plea, a city spokesperson told the I-TEAM that since one of the counts involved insurance fraud, his roofing certificate of competency will be suspended. The I-TEAM later checked the city listing of licenses, and Van Den Bosch's general contracting license was also inactive, along with plumbing licenses he holds.
Van Den Bosch still faces criminal charges in Clay County after an arrest last week. He turned himself in on charges of insurance fraud, grand theft and uttering.
Two Kinnecorps employees also turned themselves in at the same time: Van Den Bosch’s sister, Anita Hughes, and his girlfriend, Jennifer Kinnebrew, both face felony charges of uttering as well as notarizing a false document.
In addition to the criminal charges, Van Den Bosch and Kinnecorps face a civil lawsuit from the state’s top prosecutor.
In March, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a complaint accusing the roofer and his company of violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. That complaint asked a judge to take a number of actions against the roofer, including civil penalties, an order to pay back customers for unfinished jobs and restrictions on future roofing work.
The I-TEAM has also uncovered Kinnecorps is now seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to court documents filed in April, the roofing company has gone into default on business loans that were taken out because of cash flow problems resulting from issues with insurance payments.
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