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Posted on: April 24, 2020

Serial fraudster gets prison time for his latest crimes

This is Philip Fiorito

MARATHON, April 24, 2020 – A Marathon man with a history of fraud-related crimes has been sentenced to 30 months in state prison after entering an admission to violating probation imposed in two separate cases for illegal contracting and grand theft.

Philip Fiorito, 35, was given the sentence April 21 by Acting Circuit Court Judge Ruth Becker for grand theft over $20,000 and engaging in contracting without a license. Prison will be followed by five years of probation and he must pay restitution of $25,015.19 to one of the victims. Assistant state attorneys Kelly Dugan and Jon Byrne represented the state.

In Fiorito’s latest case, the grand theft from 2018, a Sunrise, Fla., man who owns rental properties in the Keys wrote several checks to Fiorito for parts and labor to fix air conditioners at his properties. The checks totaled $25,015.19 and no repairs were made.

It started in November 2017, when Fiorito and his then-girlfriend moved into one of the victim’s condos and told the victim the air conditioning wasn’t working. The victim told Friorito to get it fixed and wrote him a check to cover it. Fiorito later told the victim the compressor was broken and another check was cut.

The victim said he later gave several checks to Fiorito to have AC units fixed at other properties. All of the work was to be done by March 15, 2018, but when the owner of the units checked them the next day, nothing had been done. And no permits were pulled for any of the work. Throughout, Fiorito told the victim he worked for an air conditioning company, which he said would pull the permits, but his former employer said he hadn’t worked there since November 2017.

As part of his plea deal in November 2019 – he received 48 months of probation -- Fiorito had to make full restitution when he entered his plea. The check presented to prosecutors for the owner of the units bounced so in December, the state filed a motion to revoke Fiorito’s probation and it was granted. His probation was also revoked in his 2016 illegal-contracting case for, among other things, not reporting to his probation officer and moving from his residence without permission, plus getting arrested for his 2018 offenses.

In the June 2016 case, Fiorito responded to a call at a residence in Marathon while working for an AC company and told the resident she needed a new compressor. Two weeks later, he went outside his employer and told the resident he could get a compressor and do the labor far cheaper than his employer. The resident gave him $500 as initial payment. But Fiorito didn’t personally have a state license to perform air conditioning work.

That November, he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 364 days in jail and two years of probation, and ordered to pay back the $500.

In 2014, Fiorito pleaded no contest to scheme to defraud in Key West in a check-kiting scam in which he victimized a local bank. He received 24 months of probation. In 2015, he pleaded no contest to illegal contracting and grand theft and was given 48 months of probation.

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