TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — You probably remember the roofer accused of taking money from three homeowners, and not doing the work.
Christopher Mouyos tried to defend his reasons to 8 On Your Side but then, he was locked up. On Thursday, he faced a judge.
Three homeowners told 8 On Your Side Mr. Mouyos ran off with their deposits. They obtained civil judgments against him.
After our investigation, deputies reopened the criminal case, and charged Mouyos with three felonies.
On Thursday, Mr. Mouyos appeared by video for his arraignment. He didn’t say a word.
But last month, when we spoke with him, Mr. Mouyos said he didn’t do anything wrong. He pointed to the findings of state regulators, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation or DBPR.
DBPR had looked into accusations of wrongdoing but then closed the case, without taking any action against Mr. Mouyos.
“In fact, I just got a letter from the DBPR finding me harmless,” said Mr. Mouyos last month.
“I want to know why is his license still active?” asked Janice Smith, who obtained a civil judgment against Mr. Mouyos.
The three homeowners said the state wasn’t doing enough to protect Floridians. Now DBPR is making a move, filing two administrative complaints against Mr. Mouyos. In documents obtained by 8 On Your Side, state regulators said he abandoned projects.
“You’re dealing with civil servants and they’re people and you have to get their attention,” said Brian Stayton, an attorney and construction law expert.
Mr. Stayton says the complaints just start the process. However, Mr. Mouyos could potentially have his license suspended or revoked.
“He has the right to respond. He can deny the complaints,” said Mr. Stayton. “Once you start getting into multiple offenses, it becomes more likely that the construction board is going to want to jump in and do something to protect the public.”
“DBPR works diligently to protect the safety and wellbeing of Florida’s consumers… Generally, DBPR can seek monetary penalties (fines and costs) and license discipline, such as probation and suspension, all the way up to license revocation. DBPR can also seek restitution for consumers in certain circumstances as well,” a DBPR representative said in a statement to 8 On Your Side.
We know some of you have complaints against contractors. Mr. Stayton outlined when the state can take action. For example, a contractor only has 60 days to pay a civil judgment and they can’t abandon a construction project for more than 90 days.
But, they can be totally incompetent and there’s no remedy with DBPR.
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