SARASOTA (FOX 13) - At least eight people are out of more than $35,000 after a Sarasota paving company collected money for work it never did, and detectives say the owners now face charges including fraud.
On Tuesday, Sarasota County deputies said they arrested Arthur and Cynthia Borchert, the owners of Trademark Pavers.
A resident reported paying more than $4,500 to install pavers in his driveway, but after three months without any work being completed, he contacted the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, officials said.
Detectives said they discovered more, who paid the couple more than $35,000 for work that was never completed.
Linda Pearson was one of the victims. She could not have imagined her need for a new driveway and pool area would put her out almost $8,000.
"I saved for a long time, planned it out so I wouldn’t have to put it on a credit card," Pearson told FOX 13 News. "I thought initially that they were nice people and come to find out they’re crooks."
Sarasota County Sheriff's Office investigators agree. Lt. Mike Dumer says their crimes may extend beyond Sarasota County.
"We’ve been speaking with our collaborative agencies that we deal with across our jurisdictional lines and they’ve got similar complaints, as well, and I’m pretty certain there’s going to be additional charges there as well," Lt. Dumer said.
Experts say to always check a company or contractor's licenses and ask for recommendations.
Pearson, however, won't be seeking out a contractor any time soon. She just hopes she can get back her money.
"It's a lot to swallow now. I don't know what to say. I'm just really upset," she said.
Investigators said Arthur’s cousin, Thomas Borchert was also charged in October with theft and fraud. He was the owner of Five Star Brick Pavers and collected $15,000 from clients without performing any work.
Arthur and Cynthia face several charges of embezzlement and scheming to defraud. Investigators said it's possible there may be more victims and charges are still pending for the couple. Anyone who thinks they may be a victim is asked to call the sheriff's office at (941) 861-4900.