A West Palm Beach County man landed in Keys jail this week after investigators say he swindled thousands of dollars from a Key Colony Beach woman who paid him to do post Hurricane Irma repairs to her house — work which was never completed and cash she never saw again.
Tison Lee Kennedy, 31, was hired to build an enclosure around the woman’s swimming pool pumps, replace three double doors and a window and repair her roof.
In early February, the woman, Patricia Joseph-Becker, cut Kennedy four checks totaling more than $5,000 that he told her was for labor and materials. Kennedy cashed all of the checks between Feb. 12 and 14.
“As of the date of this report, Kennedy has not returned the money that was given to him and the work has not been started,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy William Daniels wrote in his report.
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Deputies checked with the county Building Department to confirm Kennedy is not a licensed contractor with either the county or the state of Florida. Two of the three jobs for which the woman hired Kennedy require a contractor and a permit.
The woman called the Monroe Sheriff’s Office to report Kennedy had not begun the work for which she paid him, nor had he purchased any of the materials.
“Kennedy was asked numerous times about the materials and the work, at which point he kept telling Joseph-Becker that he was trying but his wife was extremely ill,” Daniels wrote.
Monroe County Judge Ruth Becker signed a warrant for Kennedy’s arrest on April 10 on two counts of operating as a contractor without a license during a state of emergency and five counts of larceny from a person 65 years of age or older.
He was booked into county jail on Stock Island on a bond of $17,500.