Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday announced a lawsuit against Nationwide Pools and Keith Stuart, who owns the pool-construction company accused of ripping off its customers and leaving their pools unfinished.
The lawsuit alleges Nationwide Pools used false and deceptive marketing practices; failed to pay subcontractors, causing liens to be placed on customers' homes; charged illegal credit card fees; misrepresented pool financing, rebates, and warranties; and, failed to complete the construction of pools.
"Floridians should be able to trust the companies they do business with, and they should receive the services advertised or promised," said Bondi.
"I'm extremely happy," said Shawn Chase, who said it'll likely cost him $50,000 to $60,000 to complete the pool Nationwide said it could build for $32,000. "I hope that everybody else that had the same unfair incident that I did gets justice out of it."
The lawsuit seeks consumer restitution and permanent injunctive relief banning the company and its owners and managers from future pool construction.
In an email to Local 10, Stuart wrote: "We are currently cooperating with the AG's office as well as DBPR. I personally apologize to all clients that this has affected, it was always our intention to build & complete every swimming pool project."
"I would say he's definitely a crook and a bad businessman," said Chase. "He stole from people and he knew it. He stole from a lot of people."