100+ unlicensed contractors arrested following Hillsborough Co. investigation

Crime

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced the completion of an investigation into unlicensed contracting Tuesday morning which led to the arrest of more than 100 people.

“The Tampa Bay housing market is booming right now,” the sheriff said. “But that also means fraudsters are looking to exploit homeowners.”

Steven Velletri is among the dozens of contractors arrested. A search of the FDLE sex offender registry shows that Velletri was convicted of rape in New York State in 1998.

During the bust, deputies say Velletri tried to do work on a person’s home, only to learn it was a set-up by detectives.

“Just imagine for a moment, this person who was convicted of rape, coming into your home where your loved ones are,” Chronister said.

Undercover detectives claiming to be homeowners in need of repair work throughout the county caught more than 100 unlicensed contractors in an investigation nicknamed “Operation House Hunters.” They used five homes in the bust.

“They want your hard-earned money and they don’t care if you are left with poor quality work that could put you and your loved ones at risk,” Chronister said.

The sheriff’s office provided a video that shows three people being arrested.

One of those in the video is Troy Massey. He advertised his services on Craigslist, investigators say, and told detectives he could install lighting and paint the inside of the home for $1,110.

“Detectives learned that Massey’s state-certified contractor’s license was revoked in 2011 after he was disciplined two years prior for abandoning a project in Hillsborough County and failing to take care of the requirements imposed on him during the disciplinary hearing,” the sheriff’s office said about Massey.

LATEST STORIES:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Bay area couple back in U.S. after Coronavirus outbreak on cruise ship

Thumbnail for the video titled "Bay area couple back in U.S. after Coronavirus outbreak on cruise ship"

Sheriff: Homicide suspect shot dead by Polk County SWAT deputy

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sheriff: Homicide suspect shot dead by Polk County SWAT deputy"

Westchase neighborhood fed up with mail thief

Thumbnail for the video titled "Westchase neighborhood fed up with mail thief"

Presidents Day Forecast

Thumbnail for the video titled "Presidents Day Forecast"

Tow truck driver killed by drunk driver on Howard Frankland remembered 4 years later

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tow truck driver killed by drunk driver on Howard Frankland remembered 4 years later"

Two hurt following car explosion

Thumbnail for the video titled "Two hurt following car explosion"

Woman in critical condition after hitting guard rail, crashing into canal in Tampa

Thumbnail for the video titled "Woman in critical condition after hitting guard rail, crashing into canal in Tampa"

2 X-treme Air & Home Care technicians arrested for grand theft, exploiting the elderly

Thumbnail for the video titled "2 X-treme Air & Home Care technicians arrested for grand theft, exploiting the elderly"

'Flowers for Phoebe' brings dozens together to honor little girl

Thumbnail for the video titled "'Flowers for Phoebe' brings dozens together to honor little girl"

Evan INTVW Nikki Fried 20200216

Thumbnail for the video titled "Evan INTVW Nikki Fried 20200216"

Tampa PD: Driver runs red light, crashes into ambulance carrying patient, 2 EMTs

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa PD: Driver runs red light, crashes into ambulance carrying patient, 2 EMTs"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss