TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The owner of Lutz-based Olympus Pools, James Staten, insists his company will finish hundreds of uncompleted pools and take care of customers who are angry they have holes in the ground – or nothing at all – after forking over hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now, the company has a new problem. SCP Distributors LLC, the largest pool supply company in the country, has sued Olympus in Pasco County court over more than $1 million in supplies already delivered for homeowners’ pools.
SCP attorney Brian Leung tells 8 On Your Side Investigator Shannon Behnken that the company has decided to go after Olympus in court for the debt, instead of filing liens on homeowners.
Staten, owner of Olympus Pools, sent this statement to Better Call Behnken:
“The balance mentioned in the complaint you provided is actually a line of credit we have had with SCP. We were told by SCP the promissory note was a formality to secure the line of credit for the account we have with them, and we were not aware of the complaint until we were contacted by the media.
As far as we understand, we continue to have a good working relationship with SCP. We do business with SCP every day, including today, and make regular payments to them to cover current jobs and our previous balance. In the last 30 days, we have paid SCP more than $145,000, of which nearly half was towards the balance on our line of credit.“
Brian Leung, an attorney for SCP, says his client agreed to a promissory note with Olympus in April to settle the company’s large debt over its credit line.
Olympus had six months to pay off the more than $1.1 million. In its lawsuit, SCP claims Olympus Pools failed to make its first payment of $191,000.
That, he explained, triggered SCP’S right under the agreement to demand the full amount, including 18 percent interest.
Named in the lawsuit are not just Olympus Pools, but also owner James Staten and his wife, Alexis Staten, and every company associated with the couple.
This lawsuit follows last week’s announcements that the sheriff’s offices in Pasco and Polk counties have active criminal investigations. Staten says he committed no crimes.
Since Better Call Behnken broke this story last month, Olympus has made progress on some pools but many customers say they still can’t get through to the company.
Some customers paid up front in cash and now wonder where their money went, as some of these customers have received liens from subcontractors who claim they haven’t been paid for completed work.
Staten insists he will finish every pool and has pointed the blame toward material and labor shortages.
His statement continues:
“More importantly, we are continuing to make good progress on the pools that we committed to finishing and completing the projects currently under construction.“
He sent the following list of progress:
For example, last week:
– 11 pools passed final inspections
– 8 pools had concrete work completed
– 6 pools had brick and tile work has been completed
– 5 pools had electrical work completed
– 7 pools had plumbing work completed
– 3 residences have had footers dug.
– 4 residences have had footers poured with concrete
– Supplies were delivered to approximately 18 residences
This week, we are continuing to make progress:
– 3 pools have had concrete work done, another 5 more are scheduled to be completed this week
– 3 pools have had plaster completed this week, 2 more are on the schedule
– 5 pools had plumbing work completed
– 2 pre-grades done so far this week, 4 more are scheduled
– 2 pools had electrical completed this week, 2 more are scheduled for electrical this week
– 4 passed final inspection so far this week
– Cleaning crews have cleaned 3 job sites so far this week