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Spring Hill contractor Nicholas Stanko charged with fraud

HUDSON — A Spring Hill man who authorities say ripped off elderly people by charging them large sums to "seal" their driveways was arrested Tuesday after returning to a Pasco victim's home.

Nicholas Stanko, 53, of 13097 Linzia Lane is charged with organized fraud and soliciting without a permit, according to records at the county jail in Land O'Lakes.

Bail was set at $10,000, but a note ordered him to be released only to authorities in Lake County.

According to a sheriff's report, Stanko would offer to do work for victims and advertised himself as licensed and insured. His last license expired in 2006, records show. He also gave a 10-year guarantee on his work.

For at least two victims, the sealant washed off at the first rain. When contacted, Stanko refused to make good on the guarantee, the report said.

Losses were $750 and $400.

Another victim said he paid Stanko $3,500 for a patio construction job, but the work never got done. He was arrested in Polk County in connection with eight similar incidents, the report said.

Pasco deputies arrested Stanko after he returned to a victim's home in Hudson. The victim called a television reporter, who called the Sheriff's Office.

A sheriff's report said Stanko admitted his work was "substandard" after his arrest.

Authorities were familiar with Stanko, who also got the attention of state Sen. Mike Fasano when a victims' advocate in Lecanto called him.

Fasano then sent letters to Attorney General Bill McCollum, Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Doug Beach, Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, State Attorney Bernie McCabe, State Attorney Brad King, and sheriffs in Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties.

"Senator Fasano was very pleased with the decision to charge Mr. Stanko," his aide, Greg Giordano said Wednesday. "He hopes that with the charges lodged against Mr. Stanko that the victims may one day see justice.

Spring Hill contractor Nicholas Stanko charged with fraud 04/14/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 9:18pm]
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