HERNDANDO BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Ed Avella, the owner of AVCO Marine Construction was based in Hudson, has agreed to give up his contractors licenses in a settlement with state regulators.

Customers say they paid down payments, ranging from around $10,000 to $30,000 for boat docks and lifts. In a deposition, the company owner claimed that around 140 customers lost about $1.3 million.

Meanwhile, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirms they have transferred their criminal investigations to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

A spokesman for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office says FDLE agents are currently going through financial records for the company.

In October 2022, Avella filed to liquidate his company. Avella has denied requests for comment but when asked in a deposition for that case where the money went he said it went toward customers’ work and company expenses.

Customers can file to recoup some money through the state’s Florida Homeowner’s Construction Recovery Fund.