JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The chief operating officer of a Jacksonville roofing company has now been arrested on four felony fraud charges, accused of working with the brothers who owned the company, to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from customers for jobs that were not completed.
Daryl Strickland turned himself in Thursday at the Baker County Jail on a warrant out of Volusia County, and was released on $100,000 bond shortly thereafter. Strickland had been the COO of Jacksonville-based Carlson Enterprises, which also had offices in Daytona, Orlando, Tampa and Gainesville. The owners of the company, Adolph and John Carlson, were arrested on fraud charges in February, in what prosecutors called Operation Hurricane Hustle.
Strickland is charged with two counts of organized scheme to defraud, plus one count each of conspiracy to commit organized scheme to defraud and organized scheme to defraud a financial institution.
According to the charging affidavit filed with the Volusia County clerk of court, from January 2016 to April 2018, Strickland worked with the Carlson brothers to take deposits from customers in St. Johns, Flagler and Volusia counties, many of whom were seeking to have hurricane damage repaired. Prosecutors said the money was misappropriated, and either never used to order supplies to make the repairs and/or never used to pay the subcontractors.
Prosecutors said no repairs were ever completed at the homes of 43 customers who had paid deposits. Repairs were completed for another 15 customers, but the subcontractors were not paid, resulting in liens being filed against the homeowner’s property.
Prosecutors also allege that Strickland applied for business loans, based on money that was due to the company for projects that were not yet completed. But, they claim little of the money from the loans was used to pay subcontractors and employees, or purchase materials.
Strickland is due in court May 22 for his arraignment. The Carlson brothers are out on bond, awaiting trial.
The criminal charges are based on losses in the 7th Judicial Circuit, encompassing St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia and Putnam counties, but Carlson Enterprises also operated in other parts of the greater Jacksonville area. The Better Business Bureau has processed 100 complaints about the company. Nearly 30 of those came from Clay, Duval and Nassau counties.
Since March 2018, the I-TEAM has documented cases in Duval and Clay counties in which residents paid Carlson Enterprises for work that was never completed.
Last year, the Construction Industry Licensing Board took up 65 cases against Adolph Carlson, of Carlson Enterprises. He was accused of taking money from dozens of customers and then abandoning the jobs. Customers filed complaints with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which then investigated the allegations.
The board accepted the penalty recommended by the attorney handling the case, which resulted in a fine in excess of $800,000, plus investigative costs, and restitution to the individual complainants. Carlson’s license was also voluntarily relinquished.
In April 2018, the Florida Attorney General's Office sued Carlson Enterprises over its business practices. The state also asked a judge to freeze the company’s assets, which the judge agreed to do. That lawsuit is ongoing.
If you have had problems Carlson Enterprises, you can file complaints with the following organizations and agencies:
- Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida: Carlson Enterprises
- Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
- Florida Office of the Attorney General
If you are hiring a roofer, you can check the state’s website to make sure the business is licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
The Better Business Bureau’s website also offers advice for consumers on hiring a roofing contractor in Florida.
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