Olympus Pools shuts down, saying state ‘forced us to voluntarily relinquish our license’

Better Call Behnken

Hundreds of pools are left unfinished throughout the Bay area

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Olympus Pools, amid investigations by state regulators and law enforcement for hundreds of unfinished pools, closed its doors for good Saturday morning, citing a forced license relinquishment by the state of Florida.

This comes after a week of unsettling news this week, as some subcontractors moved forward with foreclosing liens on homeowners over unpaid work and Olympus’ new partner, Jordan Hidalgo announced he was stepping away from the company.

Owner James Staten issued this statement on Facebook:

Over the last several months at Olympus Pools we have endured constant negative media coverage encouraging viewers to file complaints with Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. As a result, the DBPR has forced us to voluntarily relinquish our license. This means we are no longer allowed to continue working for any of our customers. We have fought hard and would have continued to do so for as long it took to complete every project.

Although we are greatly disappointed in the decision, we understand the pressure that has been placed on the Department to act. We do not feel the decision is beneficial to our community or our customers, however it was not our decision to make. If it were up to us, we would continue working for our customers. We have enjoyed servicing the Tampa Bay area for close to 10 years. We are proud of the thousands of projects we have built and the work we have done for our community in that time. We are grateful for all of the support the vast majority of our former customers, employees, friends, family and neighbors have shown us during this time.

Better Call Behnken broke the story of hundreds of unfinished pools months ago and has been fighting for homeowners, some who have dangerous mud pits in their backyards that are threatening the foundation of their homes.

Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Florida Attorney General’s Office both have active investigations. The AG tells Investigator Shannon Behnken that the office has at least 165 complaints from customers.

A spokeswoman for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said the matter had been referred to the Florida Office of Statewide Prosecution for continued investigation because the complaints stretch over several county lines.

Meanwhile, a Texas collections company confirmed it sent out 40 notices of intent to foreclose, and Olympus Pools confirmed they received a packet of such letters. The collections firm says more are on the way from multiple subcontractors.

Olympus owner James Staten earlier this week said he disputes the subcontractor liens, but the bottom line for homeowners is this: if Olympus doesn’t satisfy the liens, they’ll have to pay twice for work on a pool they still can’t enjoy.

Also earlier this week, a public relations firm representing Olympus quit, as did partner Jordan Hidalgo, who announced in May he was buying 50 percent of the company.

Staten responded to Better Call Behnken on Thursday in an email saying he received foreclosure letters from one subcontractor today, disputes the facts and will “resolve this matter in a legal forum.”

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