KEY WEST, June 10, 2020 – A Key West man who took nearly $30,000 for two Lower Keys construction projects where no work was done has been arrested.
Based on a probable-cause affidavit filed by State Attorney’s Office Investigator Frank Zamora, Thomas Andrews, 48, was charged June 9 with grand theft over $20,000, a felony; and fraudulently representing himself as a licensed contractor, a misdemeanor.
For one of the projects, a porch repair on Sugarloaf Key, on August 25, 2019, the homeowner’s mother gave Andrews $7,500 as a deposit on the $15,000 total cost; he presented the victim a contractor’s invoice. Five days later, the mother gave Andrews another $21,600 deposit on a total quoted price of $65,000 to remodel her own kitchen on Summerland Key.
When no work was done on either project, the victim’s son attempted to contact Andrews several times but was not able to leave a phone message because Andrews’ message box was full. He then texted the number but it came back as a land line, which can’t receive text messages.
The son later sent a certified letter to the Stock Island address Andrews listed on his contractor’s invoices, asking for all of the deposit money back. He then filed a complaint with the State Attorney’s Office on January 29 this year.
On March 20, Investigator Zamora received confirmation from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation that Andrews is not a licensed contractor in Florida. In fact, he has never held a Florida contracting license, according to DBPR.
The total loss of the deposits was $29,100.