Pool contractor surrenders to financial crimes detectives

A local pool contractor, who was being sought in connection with the misappropriation of construction funds, has turned himself in at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

Historic City News has learned that 57-year-old Richard Lawrence Woods, President and owner of Paradise Pools and Spas of St. Augustine, surrendered Wednesday morning to answer four outstanding warrants.

Sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Kelshaw told local reporters that Woods, who is not affiliated with Paradise Pool Service LLC of Jacksonville, is accused of receiving money for services that were either partially or never completed at four separate residences between July 2014 and August 2015.

Financial Crimes Detectives began the investigation in February when one of the four victims reported suspected misappropriation of construction funds. In the four known cases, Woods allegedly received over $83,000 in payments for new pools then converted that money for his personal gain.

In one of the cases a sub-contractor placed a lien on the victim’s new home for materials that Woods ordered but never paid for.

The lengthy investigation of bank and business records along with additional evidence clearly reveals to investigators that Woods, who is the president of Paradise Pools of St. Augustine, misappropriated funds in at least these four cases.

Woods refused to talk with investigators before they obtained the arrest warrants.

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