Contractor Fakes Own Death To Scam Homeowners Out of Cash

June 26, 2017

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Only in Florida would a contractor fake his own death to scam a couple of thousands of dollars in home improvements.  This bizarre story takes us to Pinellas County, where Glenn and Judith Holland escaped the Pennsylvania winters in Florida.  Last Mach, the couple bought a fixer upper home and looked for an improvement contractor to do the job.  After some neighbors recommendations, they contracted Marc Anthony Perez of Marc Anthony's Repair Service, who showed the Hollands the projects he had completed and they were impressed.  Perez even had contractor license numbers and included his licensed status on his business card as well as being a veteran. A contract was signed in April before the Hollands returned to their home and business in Pennsylvania, with the job to be completed in three months; plenty of time before they moved down for the winter in December.  It wasn't long before Perez sent receipts and said he was almost finished with the job, while receiving payments for his work. The couple decided to see the progress with a special trip in October approached, the Hollands were devastated when they saw very little work done.  The angry couple contacted Perez, who vowed to have the three month job, which was now seven month in, would be completed by mid-December.  When the Hollands moved in mid-December, they saw crooked cabinets, bathroom tile gaps crooked walls and a leaky water heater (that was supposedly replaced). The Hollands wanted answers and sent a text to Perez to explain himself.  The reply was horrifying, Perez's daughter said he had been liked in a car accident in early December. Upon hear that tragic news, the couple contacted another contractor to repair their home.  It was then they realized Perez was not a licensed contractor, had never pulled the proper permits and the work he did violated building codes.  During this time, the Hollands looked for Perez’s obituary, which never was found and after remember where he lived, Glenn remembered where Perez lived and began to stake out the property.  Day after day nothing happened and Glenn was about to give up when he saw a ghost, Marc Perez walking out of his house and into his car.  The Hollands then realized they had been taken for a ride and have launched a lawsuit.  The Hollands admitted they didn't do their homework in verifying if Perez was properly licensed; simply relying on neighbors recommendations and not checking to see if Perez was licensed.  It is a good reminder to verify any contractor to see if they are indeed licensed in Florida.  The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations has a website you can research every licensed contractor in the state.  Visit before agreeing to have any construction or home improvement work done. 

SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times

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