(WSVN) - We have all heard the stories about a homeowner getting ripped off by a shady contractor, but here’s a twist: A Miami general contractor said she fell victim to another contractor, and a South Beach condo is stuck in the middle. The Nightteam’s Kevin Ozebek investigates.
Marcela Sanchez thought replacing the roof on the Roosevelt Condo building in South Beach was going to take her career to a new level.
Marcela Sanchez, subcontractor: “When I saw this building for the first time, I thought, ‘Oh, my God, this is a great job that I have to do.'”
Until this job, Marcela’s company focused on small construction projects. To get the new roof done on time, she hired Ascend Construction LLC out of Bonita Springs.
Marcela Sanchez: “I see that they have a license, and I see the office. Everything was clear.”
Ascend Construction handed Marcela a quote of $76,590. She cut the company a check for 10%, which is standard.
When the permits were approved, Marcela wrote another check — this time for $30,636.
Marcela Sanchez: “I pay to them the 40% to buy materials and start the project, and when I pay to them the 40%, he disappear.”
He is Larry Arrasmith, the owner of Ascend Construction.
7 Investigates sifted through state records and found that he dissolved the company on Jan. 30, 2019. That’s four months before Marcela cut the second check for more than $30,000.
She made that check out to Ascend Construction LLC, but her bank records show it was altered to Ascend Construction Group.
Kevin Ozebek: “Are you worried you’re never going to see that $30,000 ever again?”
Marcela Sanchez: “Yes.”
Marcela still has not been able to replace the roof at the Roosevelt Condos, and 7 Investigates has found there are others across Florida who say they also feel burned by the company.
Jo Henrion, has roof problem: “We had a really long, strong rain, and I heard drip, drip, drip.”
Jo Henrion hired Ascend Construction LLC to repair the roof on her Fort Myers home. She said owner Larry Arrasmith ignored her calls after the roof failed county inspection.
Kevin Ozebek: “When you now hear the name Ascend Construction, what comes to mind?”
Jo Henrion: “Buyer beware. Run!”
We headed to Arrasmith’s home in Manatee County.
We didn’t find him, but we found multiple lawsuits against him, including one in which an asphalt company was awarded $2,266 because Arrasmith didn’t pay a bill for concrete.
Marcela Sanchez: “I’m very frustrated.”
As for Marcela, she has filed a complaint with the state hoping she can recoup her money through the Florida Construction Recovery Fund, which pays people who lose money to licensed contractors.
Then, she can finish the roofing job.
There is also an Ascend Construction LLC based in Palmetto Bay. That company has zero connection to the one Larry Arrasmith dissolved.
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