Police in Florida arrested a Lighthouse Point, Fla. man who allegedly bilked more than $26,000 from a 75-year-old woman for roofing services and other jobs he didn't properly complete.
According to NBC-affiliated WTVJ, police arrested Sonny Lee Stanley on charges of exploitation of the elderly over $20,000 and being an unlicensed contractor. Reports state Stanley, 46, claimed he was working in the Coral Springs neighborhood and could see the elderly woman’s roof needed repairs, despite the roof being obscured by trees.
He reportedly charged the woman $1,900 on July 8, $6,800 on July 9, $8,800 on July 12, and $9,200 on July 18 for a total of $26,700. He insisted on cash payments, saying it would help complete the job faster, according to police.
During the repairs, he claimed her house needed other work, such as tree trimming, pressure cleaning her sidewalk and driveway, painting, and electrical fixture repairs.
Stanley would drive the woman to her bank to make cash withdrawals while he waited in the car. He claimed the repairs were completed but the woman received no receipts of the payments.
The victim contacted police on July 19 and explained what happened. They had her call Stanley for another job, and when he showed up the next day police questioned him. He told police he didn’t want to be arrested and would pay the victim back, but she wanted him to be prosecuted, according to the police.
A legit roofing contractor checked the work Stanley did on the roof and concluded the repairs were below standard, incomplete and needed to be replaced. Additionally, no city permit had been issued to do the work in the first place.
WTVJ reports Stanley was released from Broward County Jail on Sunday on a $20,000 bond.