Industry News

Accused Florida price-gouger to pay $200,000 in restitution

Company allegedly overcharged homeowners on hurricane repairs

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A Florida company accused of gouging homeowners on repairs of damages caused by last year's hurricanes has agreed to pay $200,000 in restitution and cease business operations in the state. Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said today that Fort Walton, Fla.-based Garner Construction LLC settled with his office in the wake of an investigation into possible price gouging. Garner, a construction remodeling company, was alleged to have overcharged consumers for water mitigation and minor home repairs in the wake of the hurricanes that battered the state last year. Documents obtained through an investigative subpoena issued by the Attorney General's Office showed that Garner performed repairs on the personal property of 61 individuals and one assisted-living facility, Crist said. The assisted-living facility, Villas of Gulf Breeze, was wrongly billed approximately $54,000 for water removal, demolition and cleanup, Crist alleged. According to a statement by Crist, Garner charged the as...