Undercover detectives in Polk County, Fla., arrested a Colorado Springs man on suspicion of running a fake roofing business and scamming elderly clients.
Bartholomew Rafferty, 33, was arrested on Jan. 11 along with his brother, Patrick Rafferty, on suspicion of burglary, grand theft and workers compensation fraud.
They were arrested in an unincorporated area of Polk County, near Davenport, which is between Orlando and Tampa.
The Raffertys were part of a group of five nomadic construction workers targeted by a Polk County Sheriff’s Office sting operation. The sheriff’s office referred to the individuals as “travelers” in a news release, which also said the men offered home improvement and handyman skills to homeowners.
On Jan. 11, an undercover senior citizen, working for the sheriff, posed as an “elderly woman” who needed roof repair and contacted the Raffertys’ allegedly fake company, Rafferty Roofing.
Prior to the sting, the woman’s roof was inspected by a qualified roofing contractor and deemed in prime condition.
After a 13-minute assessment, the Raffertys found several “problems” with the roofing structure. for a fee of $975, the Raffertys would fix purported issues with the woman’s shingles and vent pipes, officials said.
After the Raffertys allegedly presented fake liability insurance, they were arrested, the sheriff’s office said.
Both Raffertys told deputies they were visiting Florida from Colorado. Patrick said they had been traveling to Florida to do “seasonal work” for 14 years, deputies said, and Bartholomew gave a Colorado Springs address, 1635 Pinon Glen Circle.
Both men have bonded out of the Polk County jail, said Donna Wood, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman. The brothers are due in Polk County court on Feb. 14.
<a href="http://www.gazette.com/articles/raffertys-131935-sheriff-roofing.htmltag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://www.gazette.com/articles/raffertys-131935-sheriff-roofing.htmlWed, 18 Jan 2012 21:32:28 GMT">Springs man arrested in roofing scam