(WSVN) - A South Florida man has been arrested, accused of driving away with his customers’ money. The Nightteam’s Kevin Ozebek has this special assignment report: Money for Nothing.
The front yard of this Fort Lauderdale home looks much different than it did a few months ago.
Back then, a huge mound of dirt blocked the driveway, and broken stone pavers were scattered across the lawn.
Mikaela Shaposhnikova, homeowner: “I couldn’t believe myself that I had fallen under this scenario.”
Mikaela Shaposhnikova wanted to replace her brick driveway with pavers.
She also wanted to create a walkway along the side of her house.
The work started in January but was never finished, and the original contractor she hired is now behind bars.
Mikaela Shaposhnikova: “He’s not a licensed contractor!”
Mikaela hired Jeff Wilson to do the job.
Mikaela Shaposhnikova: “He said he’s a contractor that does the driveways. He did the pavers a block away. We started talking, and he said, ‘Oh, I’ll be right over. I’ll give you the best price.'”
She paid Wilson a $2,200 deposit for her driveway.
A few weeks later, she put down another $1,695 dollars for the walkway.
Wilson brought in the crew, but things went downhill after that.
Mikaela Shaposhnikova: “Jeff never came back!”
Krista Czelusniak also says Wilson disappeared after her pool went from looking like this to this.
Krista Czelusniak, homeowner: “My entire in-ground swimming pool had popped out of the ground.”
Krista hired Wilson in 2019 to replace the patio tile.
His workers had trouble getting the tile to fit around the edge of the pool, but Wilson had a solution.
Krista Czelusniak: “Build a concrete lip around the pool. We would have to drain the pool. He had done this a million times, and it wasn’t a problem.”
But, it turned out to be a huge problem.
Water from a king tide and a thunderstorm collected under the pool.
That water pushed the pool out of the ground.
It was cracked and had to be demolished.
Krista Czelusniak: “We were asking him for his insurance, and then, all of a sudden, wasn’t willing to give it to us.”
Mikaela and Krista both contacted 7News after searching Wilson’s name online.
They were shocked to find this…
Belkys Nerey, June 2020: “She says a contractor hired to fix her driveway drove away with her money.”
In June 2020, 7News spoke with these two healthcare workers from Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
They both hired Wilson for construction work at their homes.
They said they paid deposits, but the work was never finished.
Krista Czelusniak: “It made me very angry when I saw that he was doing.”
We wanted to talk to Wilson about the new upset customers. He didn’t answer our calls.
In a text message to us, he said, “During this worldwide pandemic, I’ve had financial woes like everyone else,” but he had more than financial problems to face.
Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Sylianee Hayes: “Mr. Wilson was taken into custody on April 8, 2021.”
Wilson is facing 14 charges, including organized fraud, grand theft, operating as an unlicensed contractor and elderly exploitation.
The case involves seven victims in Fort Lauderdale who hired Wilson between May and August 2020.
Stylianee Hayes: “He was promising that he was going to complete this construction work for the victims, and he never did so.”
According to the arrest warrant, Wilson took more than $70,000 from the victims.
Mikaela Shaposhnikova: “I’m out of $5,000. Another contractor is going to cost me almost $8,000.”
Detectives are now investigating Mikaela’s case, so Fort Lauderdale Police say even more charges could be coming Wilson’s way.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.