Florida Keys

Phony contractor swindled 2 women out of $17K post-Irma, prosecutors say

Recapping the 2017 hurricane season

The 2017 hurricane season ranks among the ten worst on record. Here's a video recap showing some of the damage caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Up Next
The 2017 hurricane season ranks among the ten worst on record. Here's a video recap showing some of the damage caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

A Pennsylvania man scammed two Keys residents, including a 90-year-old woman, out of nearly $17,000 by pretending he was a licensed contractor in Florida, state prosecutors said.

Tom M. McCormick, 58, of Hanover, Pennsylvania, was booked into the Stock Island Detention Center on Oct. 7, after being arrested Sept. 13 on an arrest warrant in Adams County in Pennsylvania.

mccormick.jpg
McCormick

In one case, he is charged with working in the contracting business without a license during the state of emergency declared by Gov. Rick Scott due to Hurricane Irma and also grand theft of $10,000 or more. He took more than $15,000 from a woman, prosecutors said.

Both are felonies that carry up to five years in prison upon conviction.

In a second case, McCormick is accused of swindling $1,300 from another woman. If convicted of the misdemeanor, he will face up to one year in the county jail.

Both victims live in Marathon. The 90-year-old woman said she met McCormick in the parking lot of the local Home Depot and mentioned she needed help with her home, prosecutors said. She gave him a $16,830 deposit and he did some demolition work before disappearing. He eventually sent her back $1,000 but kept the rest, according to an arrest affidavit.

McCormick told the woman he did contracting work under the name Mastercraft Contracting. But he has no license in Florida. They signed a contract on Jan. 16 for a $38,836 job that included new drywall, doors, kitchen cabinets and repairs to exterior blocks.

In the second case, another Marathon woman was hoodwinked by McCormick after she signed a $1,900 contract for drywall installation and cut him a $1,300 check as a first payment, reports state. She learned the next day he wasn’t licensed and reported him to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

There are 11 currently licensed contractors with the name Mastercraft in Pennsylvania but none in Hanover or with McCormick’s name attached, according to the state’s online database.

On Thursday, McCormick remained in jail on $55,000 bond.

  Comments