News


Jacksonville Agents Arrest Man for Construction Fraud

3/12/2008
 
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) today announced the arrest of William Lucia, Jr. in Daytona Beach, Fla. Lucia was taken into custody on Mar.11 without incident. He was booked in to the St. Johns County Jail and charged with one count of Racketeering, a first degree felony, and one count of Organized Fraud, a first degree felony.

The allegations of fraud were first brought to FDLE’s attention in 2002 by former business associates of Lucia. Investigators found that Lucia entered into contracts as a construction contractor, and then knowingly and intentionally failed to perform as specified in the contracts while pocketing investor’s funds. Investigators also alleged that Lucia would fire subcontractors to avoid paying them fully for their services and that he failed to pay suppliers of materials. The services, materials, and labor, should have been paid for by Lucia with the money he received from the investors or owners of the projects through “Draw Requests.”

The subcontractors and contractor supply houses that were not being paid filed liens against the projects. When the owners and investors in the projects realized that progress had slowed or stopped and liens were being filed, they would be forced to cut their losses. They would have to satisfy the liens, in essence paying twice for services, materials, and labor, and resume progress toward a completed project.

Lucia is alleged to have defrauded investors and project owners in the following construction projects and amounts:

Country Inn & Suites, Carterville, GA $430,000
Red Roof Inn, Ocala $500,000
The Residences at World Golf Village $800,000
Silver Beach Hotel-Condo, Daytona Beach $400,000
BellaTramonto, Palmetto $1,000,000

The investigation, which encompassed multiple judicial circuits, was worked in conjunction with the Office of Statewide Prosecution.

For more information, contact:

Special Agent Supervisor John Farmer
Jacksonville Regional Operations Center
(904) 360-7100

Heather Smith or Kristen Perezluha
FDLE Public Information Office
(850) 410-7001