Russian roulette after business transaction leaves debt to new owner

Homeowners left high and dry after pool projects abandoned

The copy machine was working overt time inside Paulina Hurtado’s office.

Hurtado said investigators could have "all the liens, all the checks that we paid, all the credit card transactions,” and whatever else they would need.

“Ideally, we get justice," Hurtado said.

Hurtado reconvened her caucus of not-so-happy homeowners – dozens of them were left high, and mostly dry when Parkwood Pools and Pavers, LLC shut down without warning. At least 40 projects were abandoned at various stages.

“If we unite together, we can be one voice and we could just help each other out to be able to get through this,” Hurtado said.

Frank Barahona considers himself one of the lucky ones. His pool was closer to completion. Barahona’s now filed a lawsuit against the company. He also showed us a copy of the questionnaire he completed. It asks about his experience with Parkwood, who he dealt with at the company, and how much he spent.

Barahona said he also spoke with the FBI agents who asked him to complete the questionnaire. The Leave it to Layron team was there as those agents began interviewing homeowners.

A spokesperson said, as a matter of policy, the agency does not confirm or deny the existence of its investigation.

"They’re very complex investigations,” said Jeffrey Morris, an attorney who spent years prosecuting white-collar crime. Morris said it’s not surprising the feds would take an interest in this case.

“[They’re] looking at the intent of the people who owned the business," Morris said. “There’s a lot of witnesses that need to be spoken to, You go through bank records; you go through their dealings with customers. Money laundering, organized crime, mail fraud, and wire fraud--those are all offenses that have federal undertones to them, and that might be the kind of conduct that they’re looking into."

The last question on the questionnaire, specifically, asks about “personal interactions” with Parkwood’s owners: Yuriy Sorochev and Oleksandr Savchuk.

The LITL team tracked Savchuk down in Naples, last October. Russian is Savchuk’s first language. He moved from Ukraine to run the company after purchasing it from Sorochev.

“I have no idea what to do because I have nothing, now," Savchuk said at the time.

Savchuk showed us the agreement he entered into with Sorochev after purchasing the company. We had to have it translated from Russian into English.

Savchuk agreed to borrow $150k from Sorochev and another man. He also agreed to "transfer the operations of the company" to them.

Savchuk said he did it to help clear the company's debts that he said he did not know about at the time.

We tracked Sorochev to a different company—Perfect Pavers in Fort Lauderdale. Sorochev still owns and operates the company. The LITL team is still waiting to hear from him.

“Money is something you can always make,” said Hurtado. “Time is the most precious thing that we have, and nobody can return to us the time that we’ve wasted; the energy that we’ve wasted. One day, I’ll contact you and say, somebody’s getting arrested.”

About the Author:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.