TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Olympus Pools, the subject of a Better Call Behnken investigation, lost its state license and closed its doors last month. Now, the defunct company is demanding more than 100 customers fork over tens of thousands of dollars within 30 days, or face a lawsuit, according to a letter sent to Olympus customers.
Olympus Pools left hundreds of customers with unfinished pools across Tampa Bay. Customers have been scrambling to finish pools on their own, with many having to pay twice for the project, because they had already paid Olympus Pools.
As law enforcement agencies and the attorney general investigates what happened to their customers’ money, Olympus Pools is fighting back, claiming its demise partly due to customers breaching their contracts.
Better Call Behnken obtained a letter sent on behalf of the pool company by Peterson Law Group in New Smyrna Beach. The letter’s purpose was to collect money, “in hopes of offsetting some of the potential difficulties your neighbors might face.”
“This letter is not unique. It is being sent to over 100 current or former customers who have chosen to breach their contracts with Olympus and stop payment on checks, credit cards, debit cards, ACH transfers and/other forms of draws issued to Olympus,” it states. “The cumulative effect crippled Olympus’ ability to timely finish the pools of many others in your neighborhoods and communities, culminating in Olympus losing its licensing and leaving those owners facing uncertain circumstances regarding their own projects.”
James Peterson, attorney for Olympus Pools, told 8 On Your Side Investigator Shannon Behnken he anticipates sending out 102 such demand letters.
“I hope that they understand that the intention is not to hurt anybody,” Peterson said. “We are trying to recoup money for the company to help others.”
“These customers unjustly benefited at the detriment of other customers,” he continued. “All customers left with nothing will be creditors in the bankruptcy.”
He also told Shannon Behnken the money collected through this effort will go into a pot of money to help pay back creditors when and if a bankruptcy action is filed.
No bankruptcy case has been filed as of Wednesday.
Peterson, a Tampa Bay native, said Olympus Pools’ owner James Staten hired his firm because it is “heated in Tampa” and he wanted a more objective opinion.
He added that if any customer who received a letter feels that it is in error, they can contact his office for review.
This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.