BROOKSVILLE — Florida law requires that contractors for most home improvement professions — roofing, plumbing and air conditioning installation and repair, for example — hold a professional license. Authorities are constantly on the lookout for individuals who perform such services without proper credentials.
A recent joint investigation by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Hernando County Building Department, the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud and the Hernando County Sheriff's Office resulted in the arrest this week of five local individuals who were caught giving written estimates for work they weren't licensed to perform and who did not carry proper insurance and workers' compensation insurance.
The undercover operation utilized phone calls placed to individuals who responded to ads in local media and on the Internet requesting estimates for work on a residence on Emanuels Way in Spring Hill.
Arrested in the sting were Darren Ciraolo, 39, and Luis Anthony Santiago, 46, both of Spring Hill, and Daniel Waymire, 50; Gregory Bishop, 35, and Robert Lewis Hellyar, 41, all of Brooksville. All were taken to the Hernando County Detention Center.
A similar sting effort last year resulted in nine arrests of suspects who had been advertising services that required professional licenses.
Anyone can verify a state license by calling the county's contractor licensing division at (352) 754-4050 or online at MyFloridaLicense.com.
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.