Business Owner Arrested for Scheme to Defraud
NEWS RELEASE 20-026 - FEBRUARY 13, 2020
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested the owner of Jamestown Kitchens for defrauding clients out of more than $230,000.
Detectives launched an investigation in December after receiving a report from a Sarasota resident who gave Jamestown Kitchens a deposit of $17,000 in March 2019 to remodel two bathrooms in her condo. The victim met with a representative of the company in October and in December 2019, reported no work had been completed. As detectives began to launch their investigation, they identified 11 additional victims in Sarasota County who paid Jamestown Kitchens an estimated $232,250 in total, and never received services from the company. Several additional victims have been identified in Manatee, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
On January 14, Jamestown Kitchens owner 49-year-old James Gerard, declared himself the registered agent for a new business known as JLG Kitchen Planning and Design, LLC. On January 30, Gerard reported a Home Depot moving van with $2,500 worth of cabinetry was stolen from his new business. Investigation revealed Home Depot recovered the van after Gerard failed to return it and the card he used to rent it, was declined. GPS data from the moving van confirmed the vehicle was taken to a cabinet business in Orlando where Gerard attempted to return materials that were purchased from the company in 2018.
Gerard, DOB 04/19/70, of 1415 2nd St Unit 406, is charged with a single felony count of Scheme to Defraud Greater than $50,000. Gerard remains in custody today on $20,000 bond. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.
Anyone with information related to Jamestown Kitchens or JLG Kitchen Planning and Design, LLC, is asked to contact the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section at 941.861.4900.