Cape Coral Gets Couple’s Money Back from Unlicensed Contractor

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An investigation by the City of Cape Coral’s Code Compliance Division resulted in a large recovery of money.  More than $100,000 from an unlicensed contractor has been returned to a German couple building a home in the city.  Thanks to the efforts of Investigator Paul Gates, Helmut and Anja Weiss received a check for $105,333.75 from the contractor.  This is the highest dollar amount ever recovered through mediation by the City’s Code Compliance Division.

“We are certainly pleased that we were able to mediate this issue successfully and recover these funds for Helmut and Anja Weiss,” said Code Compliance Manager Rich Carr.  “Hiring unlicensed contractors comes with substantial risk.  This is why we encourage our citizens to choose one of the many reputable, licensed contractors in Cape Coral who do excellent work, and are bonded and insured.”

Mr. and Mrs. Weiss hired Reinhard Eichinger (Cape Coral) of the Jonas Group to build a single-family residence on a parcel they owned in the southwest Cape.  Several months later, the City received information from the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association (CCCIA) that Mr. Eichinger was working in the City as an unlicensed contractor.  A subsequent investigation by Gates revealed that he was working as both an unlicensed contractor and unlicensed real estate agent.

Mr. and Mrs. Weiss were unaware that Mr. Eichinger was unlicensed when they signed the contract to build the residence.  Mr. Eichinger cooperated with the investigation and was willing to participate in the mediation process.  He also agreed to return the couple’s money.  As outlined in Ordinance 6-10.1(c), the purpose of the mediation process is to identify any action that will be taken to abate the violation.  Mr. Eichinger was cited for violation of Ordinance 6-14(f) and received a $1,000 fine.  All information was provided to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

The City of Cape Coral urges residents to call the City’s Code Compliance Division at (239) 574-0613 to verify whether a contractor has the appropriate licensing prior to signing any contracts and/or paying for services.  To report an unlicensed contractor performing work in the City of Cape Coral, call (239) 242-3873 or send an email tounlicensed@capecoral.net.