A Golden Gate Estates man faces multiple fraud and theft charges after detectives say he took tens of thousands of dollars for contracting work he never intended to complete.
Gabor Sandor Fazekas, 53, is charged with grand theft from a person 65 years or older, impersonating a contractor and two counts of contracting without a license.
“Thanks to an extensive investigation by our Financial Crimes Bureau detectives, there’s one less unlicensed contractor in Collier County preying on senior citizens in our community,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said.
The arrest culminated a two-year CCSO investigation which involved meticulous detective work including obtaining subpoenas for the bank accounts of Fazekas and the victims, interviewing witnesses, and researching county and state records for licenses, permits and certificates.
The investigation revealed between February 2020 and October 2020 Fazekas had proposed two bathroom renovation projects to the two elderly victims. Fazekas collected over $26,000 from the victims and failed to start the projects.
Fazekas was arrested at the Naples Jail Center after turning himself in on the CCSO warrant.
After letting Fazekas’s neighbor, Michael Schneider know it was upwards of $26,000, Schneider was surprised. “Oh my goodness, that’s bad,” said Schneider. “It’s not 500 or 100 or someone you paid to mow your lawn and they never came back no that’s bad.”
“There’s so many fly-by-nights, you know that,” said Schneider. “People do stuff and they say they got a license but really don’t.”
Detectives said state prosecutors are currently reviewing their request for an additional arrest warrant for Fazekas connected to this investigation. Detectives said Fazekas received $65,000 from an elderly victim and never performed the work.
“99% of the time the money is spent,” according to Chad Parker a Collier County lieutenant for the financial crimes bureau.
Florida law requires that persons who want to perform general, building and residential construction to become licensed.
Sheriff Rambosk reminds residents seeking to hire a contractor that they should verify proper licensing and proof of insurance. Always ask to see their credentials, and references from other customers, and never agree to pay the full amount for services upfront.
Checking a contractor’s license can be done online through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Web site. All consumers will need to know is the contractor’s name:
• Visit MyFloridaLicense.com
• Click on “Verify a License”
• Select “Search by Name” and click “Search”
• Enter the contractor’s last and first names
• Select “License Category” and click “Constructions Industry”
• Click “Search”
• A list of licenses that match the individual name entered will be displayed. Click on each record to view the business name associated with that individual license.