Contractor disappears with $40K from veteran hoping to repair Fort Myers Beach home

Reporter: Kellie Miller Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:
Joe Salvaggio’s neighborhood in Fort Myers Beach (CREDIT: WINK News)

Joe Salvaggio lost his wife in 2022, then lost his Fort Myers Beach home to Hurricane Ian. He told WINK News he gave a contractor $40,000 to repair his home and hasn’t heard back since April.

Salvaggio is an 84-year-old widower has been living in a small trailer on his Fort Myers Beach front lot since Hurricane Ian hit while working to rebuild his damaged home.

Joe Salvaggio (CREDIT WINK News)

“This house, if it was handled properly, would have been done already,” said Salvaggio, “He made all these promises to me, and like a jerk, I believed him.”

Before the hurricane, Salvaggio was struggling over the loss of his wife, who suffered from dementia. When Ian hit, the surge flooded Salvaggio’s home.

Salvaggio trusted a builder who promised to quickly make the necessary repairs, only to face delays due to permit issues and unresponsive contractors.

WINK News Investigative Reporter Kellie Miller analyzed public records and found that Salvaggio’s contractor has yet to submit the necessary documents to move the project forward.

After multiple attempts to call the contractor, they did not respond. When Miller visited the address associated with the business, no one answered.

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