TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Attorney General Ashley Moody is suing now-shuttered Olympus Pools and its owner for taking upfront payments and leaving jobs incomplete. The move comes less than a week after I-Team investigator Jackie Callaway, who's been covering the Olympus Pools saga for months, asked the AG’s office when it would release the findings of its investigation.
Attorney General Moody's office said Olympus Pools, Inc., and owner James I. Staten, Jr., allegedly accepted payments from hundreds of consumers in exchange for contracted pool services, then failed to perform the services as promised. The unfinished jobs sometimes leaving consumers with giant holes on their property.
The civil lawsuit seeks to ban Staten from the pool construction business and secure reimbursement for those customers. In addition to the civil action, the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution is assisting local law enforcement with a criminal investigation.
- Olympus Pools threatens to sue more than 100 customers over unpaid bills a month after losing state license
- Owner of Olympus Pools fined $1.4M for hundreds of unfinished projects
- Pinellas pool company that assumed day to day operations for Olympus Pools quits
- Olympus Pools now under criminal investigation
Since March of this year, the Attorney General’s Office received more than 200 consumer complaints about Olympus Pools—amounting to an alleged total loss to these consumers of more than $8 million.
Olympus allegedly misrepresented the timeline of projects, leaving consumers to wait on jobs that were never completed. Furthermore, Olympus failed to pay some subcontractors that resulted in liens and threats of litigation against consumers. Attorney General Moody filed a complaint against the defendants in the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Hillsborough County.
The move by Attorney General Moody comes less than a week after Staten, and his wife Alexis, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to new court documents.
In their Oct. 6 filing, the couple listed estimated assets between $500,001 and $1 million. Their estimated liabilities were listed at between $1 million and $10 million. The company also listed an estimated number of creditors at 1 to 49. Among the largest creditors is SCP Distributors LLC that, in September, received a $1.052 million judgment against James and Alexis Staten and their various companies including Olympus Pools Inc.