Unlicensed Contractor Arrested

News Release #: 14-048

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested an unlicensed contractor with a history of similar crimes, on dozens of new charges.

Detectives found that Jose Rivera, DOB 9/9/70, 2731 Grand Cayman Street, Sarasota, claimed to be a licensed contractor to be hired to do repairs at Bella Villano on Central Sarasota Parkway. From February 2013 to June 2013, he submitted 33 invoices to the management company for jobs ranging from minor repairs to new installations. The management company paid him nearly $8,000 for this work, even though Rivera never pulled any required permits and has never been a licensed HVAC contractor in Florida.

Rivera was found guilty of unlicensed contracting in Manatee County following his arrest in a sting by the sheriff's office there in 2012. He was also charged with unlicensed contracting by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office in March 2013 for similar offenses.

Rivera is charged with 33 felony counts of Unlicensed Contracting and one misdemeanor count of Unlicensed Contracting with a Previous Conviction. He is currently being held on $17,000 bond.