April 23, 2012

Miami man wanted for contractor fraud

Key Largo – Sheriff’s detectives say a Miami man is wanted for taking money from three Calusa Campground property owners with the promise of building them awnings on their properties; he then failed to do the work he was paid to do.

In February and March, 45 year old Israel Acanda agreed to build the three awnings for the victims. He claimed to own a business called “Perfection Awnings”. He took checks totaling $6,890.00 from the three victims up front, as a down payment for the work. As of now, no work has been done on any of the jobs. The victims called the Sheriff’s Office to report Acanda after they repeatedly tried to contact him without success.

Detective Francisco Gaete was assigned to investigate. He checked with the Monroe County Department of Licensing and found Acanda does not have a license to operate a business in Monroe County. He called the phone number Acanda gave to the victims. The phone number belongs to a roofing business in Miami; the owner says he has owned the company for two years and does not know Acanda.

Detective Gaete obtained a warrant for Acanda’s arrest; he is currently wanted for one count of scheme to defraud; three counts of operating a contracting business without a license and three counts of grand theft. Anyone who has information as to Acanda’s whereabouts should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 853-3211.

“This is a good time to once again remind people how important it is to thoroughly check out businesses before hiring them to do work for you, and before paying them any money up front,” said Sheriff Bob Peryam. “Make sure they have a license to operate in our county; make sure the contact information you have for them is legitimate and talk to others who have done business with them in the past. You may just save yourself from becoming a victim of fraud,” he said.

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