State regulators order South Florida pool company operator to forfeit his license

According to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, nearly 40 cases against Sunshine Pools and Contracting Group, Inc. were presented to the State Construction Industry Licensing Board.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – According to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, nearly 40 cases against Sunshine Pools and Contracting Group, Inc. were presented to the State Construction Industry Licensing Board.

The board, which regulates construction contractors and their businesses, ordered Sixto Muñoz to relinquish his license. Muñoz is the licensed qualifier for Sunshine Pools.

As part of a settlement agreement, Muñoz agreed to “never to again apply for licensure as a contractor or financially responsible officer in the State of Florida.” He also agreed that he will “not act as a partner, officer, director, trustee of, or be employed in a managerial capacity by any business organization that engages in contracting in the State of Florida.”

The licensing board also awarded restitution to 39 complainants.

“We had to come up with the twenty-grand that he stole, plus the remaining [to finish],” said Soraya Hernandez. She’s one of the dozens of homeowners who paid for a Sunshine pool, only to end up with piles of dirt, or giant holes, rebar, or unfinished projects.

“He never had any intention of finishing our pools,” Hernandez said. “Even after he filed for bankruptcy, he was still taking money for, and promising to finish jobs that he wasn’t doing.”

Hernandez is referring to Joseph Valdes. He’s the contractor she met, and the financially responsible officer of Sunshine Pools.

Valdes filed for bankruptcy in March. We never heard from him, or his attorney. A DBPR spokesperson said as the FRO, Valdes is “also being prosecuted, and if the [licensing board] finds him guilty of any violations and awards restitution against his license, complainants would also be able to file claims with the recovery fund against his license.”

When we started looking into Sunshine Pools’ dealings, the company had nearly two-dozen expired permits on record with Miami-Dade County, alone, for different jobs dating back to last year.

In April, county officials suspended the company’s license for failing to correct those expired permits.

DBPR said the state’s Homeowners Construction Recovery Fund awarded 141 claims, last fiscal year, totaling more than $2.7 million dollars.


About the Author:

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