VERO BEACH, Fla. — A growing number of customers for Amore Pools, Inc. tell WPTV that liens have been placed on their homes. They claim Amore Pools wasn't paying subcontractors.
WPTV first reported last week that the owners of the Vero Beach based-pool company were arrested. The Florida Department of Law Enforcemment said the couple took more than $2 million from about 150 customers, never intending to finish their pools.
Sold on the excitement of walking out to their backyard, Anthony Martens and his wife said they are among the 150 victims left instead with a hole in their backyard, and an unfinished pool.
Investigators with FDLE said owner Chrystal Washburn and her husband Brian Washburn never intended to finish it once they got paid.
"We believed them. We really thought they wanted to do the right thing. Like, it was just a company that fell behind," Martens said.
The Martens said they hired Amore Pools in February. They spent $36,000, paid for with money Martens' father left him before passing away.
"We were going to have a custom table put on there to dedicate to my mom and my dad," Martens said.
They say they paid Amore Pools for concrete. Amore worked with a subcontractor, Cemex. But the Martens are now among a growing number of Amore customers being served papers showing they now have liens on their homes.
Documents show Amore pools owes Cemex more than $8,000 for the work out here, even though the Martens said they already paid Amore for it.
Florida law allows subcontactors to put liens on homes to try to get back the money they’re owed.
Court records show at least 17 other homeowners have liens from Cemex, with Amore owing them at at least $70,000.
Cemex has not responded to a request for a comment.
Another subcontracor, Prestige Gunite, said it has also put a lien on one home and told WPTV it stopped doing business with Amore as a result back in February.
To clear the lien, the Martens said they might have to pay twice for the same work if they can get a bank loan.
"They look that you have a lien, so they won’t give you a loan," Martens said.
This is all an extra financial hit to the money the Martens. They are also spending more money to hire someone new to finish the pool.
“Almost the cost of the pool plus half it’s costing us to finish. Our contract was for $54,500 and it’s costing us $73,000 just to finish it," Martens said.
So even though the Washburns are behind bars, the Martens said they feel they’re helping clean up Amore’s financial mess.
"There’s a lot of people out here that are going to be out a lot of money," Martens said.