Florida Contractor Charged with Fraud – Possible $1,000,000 In Restitution
Florida Man and Pensacola Contractor Matthew Banks is now facing a Felony fraud charge and possibly over a $1,000,000 in restitution as more complaints come forward about Banks allegedly taking money for work not being started or completed.
Banks was originally charged with larceny by the Pensacola Police Department, and a warrant was issued. Banks was arrested by Okaloosa County Deputies and transported to the jail where he bonded out about 40 minutes later.
As complaints continued to grow, Banks was brought up before the Escambia County Contractor Competency Board where 10 more complaints were filed The Competency Board has had 3 meetings in September alone regarding Banks. Board Secretary Jennifer Hampton Stated that the Board has approximately 40 cases set for October reference alleged fraud committed by Banks.
The Escambia County Contractor Competency Board moved 10 more Matt Banks complaints to disciplinary hearing. He faces $300,000 in restitution. https://t.co/L1kW4yQeAh
— PNJ (@pnj) September 28, 2022
The State Attorney's Office filed a felony count of fraud against Pensacola contractor Matthew Banks Thursday. https://t.co/thTypI0jog
— WEAR ABC 3 (@weartv) September 27, 2022
One of the cases involves a Pensacola couple who paid Banks a 50% deposit of $17,500 on a kitchen remodel. The contract was signed on February 2nd, 2022 and as of July 26th, 2022, not only has no work been started, Banks hasn’t even pulled a permit!
As more and more complaints came in, the State Attorney Ginger Bowden Madden decided to review the case. As a result, Banks is now being charged with 3rd degree felony fraud. The change was made based on Florida Statute 489.126(4)(b) which states:
“it may be inferred that a contractor intended to deprive the owner of the right to the money owed, or deprive the owner of the benefit from it, and inferred that the contractor appropriated the money for his or her own use, or to a person not entitled to the use of the money, if the contractor fails to refund any portion of the money owed within 30 days after receiving a written demand for such money from the owner.”
The complaints filed against Banks are all basically the same. Banks was hired to build, repair, or remodel their homes and either did not start the work or did not complete the work. Customers then wrote letters to Banks demanding the refund of their money, which he did not return.
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