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Detectives seeking other possible victims of builder scam

Published June 23, 2006

TAMPA - Hillsborough County sheriff's detectives are looking for victims of a man they say has posed as a contractor.

Steven Joseph Kelly, 51, of 612 Stone Drive, Brandon, was arrested in May and charged with grand theft in connection with home repairs in which he allegedly took money and didn't do the work.

Tiffany Thaxton of Riverview said Kelly told her he would resurface her patio. She paid him $270 up front, but he never showed up to do the work, she said.

"He was very convincing," said Thaxton, who two weeks later saw an ad for a contractor with the same phone number and a different name.

In 2003 Kelly was charged with acting as a contractor without a license and grand theft. In 2004 he was charged for petit theft and acting as a contractor without a license. He is being held in the Hillsborough County jail with bail set at $2,500, charged with petty theft and being involved in an organized scheme to defraud.

Detectives are asking that anyone with information about similar cases call (813) 247-8582.

[Last modified June 23, 2006, 06:22:04]

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