By Kortney Daly

Volusia County has charged Maurice Bushroe with Grand Theft. Grand theft is a third-degree felony punishable up to 5 years in prison with a $5,000 fine in Florida. The state is alleging that he owned Blue Ribbon Pools which was a pool construction business based in Port Orange. The police are alleging that he received $18,500 in August 2022 from a homeowner to build a pool. Construction was supposed to begin that month, but the work was never completed. The Company announced that they was going out of business on August 26, 2022 due to supply chain issues, supply cost issues, and labor shortages. The announcement also asked all patrons to contact the office to address the next steps for uncompleted projects. According to the police there were multiple people with incomplete projects after payments were made to the company. A witness told the Port Orange Police Department that there was “some sort of understood plan” about the company going out of business. They’re assuming that implying they intended to take the money knowing the work would not be completed.

Maurice Bushroe Grand Theft

This issue is both civil and criminal. Typically, when you have an issue with a company not following their end of the deal on a construction project, it is a breach of contract issue. A breach of Contract is a civil matter that someone could file a lawsuit over to recuperate their money paid without the work being complete. At first glance, this appears to be a civil issue rather than criminal.

The Prosecution is going to have to prove that he took this money with no intention of completing the work, that it was just a scheme to take money. It appears they may have a witness who can prove that he had no intention of completing the work and took the money from these customers with the intent to take their money and run. The article is vague as to what that witness has to say or what they mean by “the understood plan.” If the witness says that there was a plan to continue taking money from customers knowing they will not complete the work, the state can potentially prove the charge of grand theft. I would want to know about what other evidence they must prove what the company’s intentions were when they took the money from the customers. That is going to be the deciding factor of whether this is truly a Civil or Criminal Case.

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