Florida Attorney General Moody Dissolves Olympus Pools and Obtains Lifetime Ban of Owner James Staten, Jr.
TALLAHASSEE, FL (STL.News) Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody recently announced the permanent shuttering of Tampa-based pool company Olympus Pools. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division took legal action against James Staten, Jr., owner of Olympus Pools, for failing to complete residential swimming pools for Florida consumers. The company is now permanently enjoined from conducting business, and Staten is personally banned for life from operating a pool company in Florida.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “We are in the thick of summer when many Floridians want to enjoy their pools with friends and family, including many Florida consumers who fell victim to this owner’s greed and were left with holes in their backyard. My Consumer Protection Division shut down this company and secured a lifetime ban for this owner to ensure he will not operate any pool business in Florida ever again.”
Olympus misrepresented the timeline of projects, accepted upfront payments, and then left jobs incomplete. The company admits that it violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The Attorney General’s civil action permanently enjoins the company from conducting any business in Florida, in addition to Staten being permanently enjoined from:
- Owning and controlling, managing or otherwise have any decision-making authority or involvement with day-to-day operations or sales practices of any company that offers, constructs, or otherwise provides residential pools in the state;
- Litigating, threatening to litigate, or otherwise attempting to enforce any rights related to the collection of payments from consumers for the construction of pools, or the provision of pool-related goods or services, without a good-faith belief that payments at issue were earned by Olympus;
- Making or assisting others in making any unsubstantiated or knowingly false or misleading statements to consumers to solicit purchases or to retain business as related to any residential pool business; and
- Misrepresenting or assisting in mispresenting the cost of any product or service, any material restriction, limitation, or condition on the product or service, any material aspect or terms of any refund, cancellation, exchange, or purchase policy for the product or service as related to any residential pool business and more.
Staten is unable to pay restitution for harmed consumers and filed for personal bankruptcy. Staten relinquished two construction licenses as a result of administrative actions by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Consumers have filed claims with DBPR through the Florida Homeowners Construction Recovery Fund.
Staten agreed to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division having a million-dollar allowed claim in the bankruptcy case, subject to court approval.
The Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution continues to work with law enforcement in a criminal investigation.
SOURCE: Florida Attorney General