TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Lutz-based pool company accused of leaving customers high and dry is now getting the attention of Florida’s attorney general.
Our Better Call Behnken investigation resulted in more than five dozen complaints against Olympus Pools all over the Tampa Bay area. Now, Hernando County is taking action – prohibiting the contractor from pulling any new permits until the company finishes what it started.
Olympus Pools has hundreds of open permits across the Tampa Bay area. And now, in light of complaints and red-tagged permits, Hernando says no new jobs until the old ones are taken care of.
Complaints are piling up on the desks of state officials, too.
Investigator Shannon Behnken caught up with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to ask whether she’s going to step in.
“When we receive complaints, we always take complaints seriously,” Moody said. “Our lawyers review them, and like I said this matter is under active review.”
She’s not the only one scrutinizing these complaints. Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation asks for consumers to file a complaint with the regulatory department as well. The DBPR oversees licensed pool companies.
Olympus Pools’ president James Staten had ignored Investigator Shannon Behnken’s calls but finally called back to promise he’ll finish every single pool.
Staten blames the issues on material shortages and former sales people who sold too many pools.
Customers claim he has been unresponsive to their complaints, but public records show he’s been busy.
His Staten Holdings LLC took out a $1.5 million mortgage on March 11, 2021 from Commercial Business Funding Corporation. The collateral: Olympus’ Lutz headquarters and all assets.
The funding group involved says on its website it works “with companies unable to access financing from traditional sources.”
When asked about this mortgage, Staten said he didn’t fully understand it, but insisted he didn’t receive any of the money.
A spokesman for state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees pool contractors, said they could neither confirm nor deny an investigation into the company but said the department wants to hear from anyone having an issue getting their pool completed.