SPRING HILL — A 34-year-old man accused of posing as a home improvement contractor and taking $12,000 from a Spring Hill woman in March has been arrested on a warrant in Polk County, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Chris Michael Asselin of Winter Haven faces charges of grand theft and contracting without a license. He was released from jail on $2,500 bail after his arrest on Thursday.
On March 12, Asselin sent a sales employee from his company, Asselin Home Improvements, to provide an estimate to install new doors and windows at a 52-year-old woman's home on Chaucer Drive after it was damaged by fire, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The salesman took measurements and provided information to Asselin, who then calculated an estimate of $17,945. Later that week, the woman provided a $12,000 check as a deposit.
Asselin never came back. The doors and windows were never installed.
Investigators said Asselin deposited the $12,000 check, but never ordered any of the doors or windows and never attempted to do the work. Investigators also learned that Asselin did not possess the correct license for the type of work his company was marketing.
Detectives say Asselin had been operating the business for about six months and admitted that he was unlicensed and not completing work he had been hired and paid to do, according to the Sheriff's Office. He admitted depositing the woman's $12,000 check without doing the job.
Asselin is also being investigated by law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough and Pasco counties about similar complaints, said Hernando County sheriff's Detective Tony Aguiar.
"It's very suspicious anytime someone requests that much money up front," Aguiar said.
Any individual who believes he or she may be a victim of Asselin's can contact Aguiar at (352) 797-3723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents are also encouraged to check a contractor's license before doing business by visiting the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's website at myfloridalicense.com/dbpr.
Contact Danny Valentine at (352) 848-1432 or email@example.com. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.