Several Polk County families out thousands of dollars, ripped off by licensed pool contractor

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Several Polk County families were reportedly ripped off by a licensed pool contractor.

What they’ve been through is heartbreaking. Something that was supposed to be a source of aqua therapy turned into a money pit.

Sheriff Grady Judd says this crooked contractor is rippling the waters of justice in his county.

“It’s not alright to take advantage of people and that’s why we’re here today,” he said.

Judd wants you to hear the real life stories of people he says were ripped off by John Johnson of Tropic Pools of Central Florida.

Ruth Kimmons is out almost $10,000.

“We got a shell in the ground and he pretty much never came back,” she said.

Kevin Knoth just wanted a pool for his wife, Tammy.

“Since she had cancer that emits to the bone, low impact workouts would be good for her so the doctors said it would be good to get a pool,” he explained.

They’ve lost about $43,000.

“It’s frustrating that we’re stuck in this drain of going nowhere,” Knoth said.

Chris Dunnahoe is another victim. His dream was to build a pool for his mother-in-law dealing with cancer.

“We had multiple liens put on our house and we refused to pay any more draws until the liens were satisfied,” he said.

Not only are his life savings gone but she never got her pool.

“My mother-in-law passed before she was able to enjoy the pool,” Dunnahoe said.

Sheriff Judd has a stern message for crooked contractors stating, “I’m going to support the good ones and the ones that do things like this, just go ahead and fluff your pillow cause you’re going to jail.”

John Johnson’s contractor license is no longer valid in Polk County. However, it is still valid in other Florida counties.

Sheriff Judd believes there are more victims.

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