Crime and Law

Builder accused of taking millions from Nocatee families, including Bravo TV star

NOCATEE, Fla — Several families are now paying double, after their ‘dream homes’ were left in the dust. Millions in deposits were collected, but the builder didn’t finish what he started.

Spencer Calvert, 51, was arrested Thursday evening and in court Friday. He is charged with three felony charges of grand larceny, embezzlement and fraud. Homeowners said he took millions in deposits and left homes un-finished.

James Gonzalez with Cobb and Gonzalez, is representing nine of the thirteen families who fell victim.

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“They’ve contracted to build a home. They’ve provided upwards of half a million dollars in deposits, and [for some] there is nothing to show for it. There isn’t even a concrete slab on the ground,” Gonzalez said.

Calvert is listed as the owner of Pineapple Corporation. He purchased 43 lots in the Vista neighborhood in Nocatee from the Park Group, automatically making him the president of the HOA as the premier builder.

One of Calvert’s employees told investigators, in the beginning, the company was very successful. Since 2019, the employee stated she collected millions in deposits from families, according to an arrest affidavit from the State Attorney’s Office.

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Some homes were built to completion, while others are half-done. Some are just an empty lot.

“They’re attempting to build their dream home out here and hundreds of thousands of dollars, millions of dollars—we don’t know where it is or what it’s being used for,” Gonzalez said.

The Pineapple Corporation employee who spoke to investigators said they started to have multiple funding issues throughout the home builds, according an affidavit. She told investigators she had several conversations with the victims and it was apparent it was a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” ordeal. Families were required to put down a 10% deposit. Those deposits ranged from $900,000 to $2 million dollars. The affidavit also said in some cases Calvert requested additional money from the victims while threatening to prolong build time if funds were not provided.

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One of the victims involved is well-known for her role on Bravo’s series ‘Below Deck.’ Captain Sandy Yawn emailed Action News Jax this morning saying, “we’re so grateful that justice is happening.”

Investigators found that the subcontractors doing the work weren’t being paid. As a result, many homeowners are now being slapped with liens, according to Gonzalez.

“These homeowners are now having to pay twice. They already paid Pineapple once. Pineapple did not provide those funds to its’ subcontractor,” Gonzalez said. “Some of the subcontractors have rights to put liens on the house. Those liens have to be cleared or else they could foreclose on the home, and take the home away so they can get paid.”

We reached out to the Pineapple Corporation for comment but have not heard back.

ProCM is taking over to finish the build for some of the homeowners. The company sent us this statement in reference to the takeover:

“We are deeply saddened by the unfortunate situation that has impacted numerous homeowners in The Vista at Nocatee. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the incomplete projects and the financial hardships they have endured. In recent months, we have been entrusted with the opportunity to take over the construction of several of the homes. Our priority is to bring closure to these projects and provide the homeowners with the homes they have long awaited. We are committed to picking up the pieces and completing these homes with the utmost diligence and efficiency. We are dedicated to ensuring that each project is executed with the highest level of professionalism and care. It is our sincere hope that through our efforts, we can help fulfill the dreams of the homeowners and restore their trust in the construction process. We stand ready to work collaboratively with any of the affected homeowners and parties to navigate through this challenging time and bring about positive resolutions.”

-Jonathan Garza, President ProCM Services LLC

Calvert is being transferred to St. Johns County jail. This is a developing story. We’ll update you once we learn more about his next court date.

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