WWSB Generic Stock 5(WWSB-ABC7), February 17, 2022
POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced the arrest of three suspects in a contracting scam.
On Jan. 19, 2022, a PCSO detective was on Spirit Lake Road in Winter Haven when he observed company vehicles and equipment with out-of-state tags and several men performing what appeared to be possible illegal asphalt work in a convenience store parking lot; he immediately initiated an investigation.
The deputy who spotted the company vehicle has been investigating scam artists for years.
During the investigation, detectives learned that 36-year-old Raymond Wolk, III of Michigan, claimed to be the owner of “County Asphalt and Trucking, LLC” with a Davenport, Florida address (a UPS Store PO Box), along with 28-year-old Henry Stanley of New Hampshire and 31-year-old David Menjivar of Texas, pressured the convenience store owner to allow them to pave the store’s parking lot. Wolk initially asked for $5000, but convinced the victim to pay $7000 instead. Once the work crew began laying the asphalt, Wolk attempted to coerce the victim to pay another $5000 for more asphalt work. The victim refused.
Stanley then instructed the victim to write a $7000 check payable to Wolk personally. When the victim questioned this, he was told that Wolk wanted to cash it immediately and did not have a bank account in Florida. Detectives confirmed each of the financial transactions.
Additionally, detectives say the same day Menjivar pressured a second victim who owns a business on Spirit Lake Road in Winter Haven, into paying $5,300 to pave a driveway area of the business’ parking lot. The asphalt laid at this location was already deteriorating and crumbling into gravel—no site preparation work was completed, no tack coat or binder course was used, and the asphalt temperature was not kept hot enough for a proper application.
Two additional victims have been identified. The Winter Haven Police Department is investigating those cases.
The suspects could not and did not provide the victims any proper paperwork to include business tax license, proof of workman’s comp insurance, or liability insurance. Detectives contacted the Florida Department of Insurance Fraud and confirmed the suspects do not have any form of insurance in the state of Florida, which is a felony.
Court records allege that the three men knowingly and intentionally solicited the victims and performed unlicensed inferior work on their business properties, leaving the victims liable for any and all injuries that the suspects could have incurred on their property and/or damage they may have done to the victims’ properties.
“These traveling scam artists are master manipulators. They prey on trusting people and leave victims with inferior work and holding the liability bag. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Please use local, reliable, licensed and known contractors to perform any work.” - Grady Judd, Sheriff
On February 15, 2022, Raymond Wolk was arrested for:
· Scheming to Commit Fraud (F3) (2 counts)
· Fraud (F3) (2 counts)
· Grand Theft (F3) (2 counts)
· Failure to Secure Worker’s Comp Insurance (F3) (2 counts)
He was released after paying an $8000 bond.
Henry Stanley and David Menjivar have Polk County warrants for their arrests, charging them with:
· Scheming to Commit Fraud (F3)
· Fraud (F3)
· Grand Theft (F3)
· Failure to Secure Worker’s Comp Insurance (F3)