Customers claim Sarasota remodeling company ran off with their money, records show license lost

Better Call Behnken

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A growing list of customers of Jamestown Kitchens is turning to Better Call Behnken for help amid a law enforcement inquiry into the business.

Customers claim they paid tens of thousands of dollars and either didn’t get anything or work started and they were left with messes.

“I know I’ve been ripped off,” said Janet Bercot, who hired the company to remodel her bathroom. “The guy kept signing new people, singing new people, signing new people, getting deposits. And he knew he wasn’t finishing any of the jobs.”

She joins a list of other unhappy customers who caught the attention of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. A spokeswoman for the office said their investigators are asking for information about the business from the public.

Bercott paid the majority of her contract of more than $30,000. The only work done, she said, was to gut the room. Workers never came back. She ended up hiring another company to finish the work and essentially paid for the job twice.

Better Call Behnken has learned Jamestown’s troubles go deeper. The company couldn’t finish work right now, even if owner James Gerard wanted to. The company no longer has a construction license to do work.

Something else customers say they didn’t know is that James Gerard has never been a licensed contractor. He has always had a general contractor act as his “qualifier” – basically held responsible for construction work. He lost his last qualifier in November.

That qualifier, Janet Romig, tells Investigator Shannon Behnken she only worked with the company for a couple of months and left because of numerous complaints from customers whose jobs weren’t completed.

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