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‘Disturbing trend:’ Nocatee construction fraud case highlights larger issue

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A luxury home builder with a reputable track record left 13 families with nothing to show for the millions they spent according to the State Attorney’s Office.

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State Attorney R.J. Larizza, of the 7th Judicial District, said white collar crimes like this are on the rise.

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“This is a disturbing trend in our community,” Larizza said while referencing Northeast Florida’s population boom. “It’s a target rich environment, sometimes fueled by greed. Sometimes fueled by incompetence.”

Investigators are working to learn the motive in Nocatee where Spencer Calvert, the owner of Pineapple Corporation, collected millions. According to court documents, Calvert never paid several subcontractors, ordered appliances but never paid, and left projects massively delayed

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

According to one lawsuit filed on behalf of a pair of homeowners in The Vista, construction was supposed to start in Summer of 2021 and be done in Summer of 2022. Calvert allegedly told the plaintiffs to pay for upgrades right away, but many were never delivered.

Calvert is now out on bond as the State Attorney’s Office works to get restitution for the victims.

“It’s been a nightmare for all of these folks, some gave as much as $2 million to have their homes built,” he said. As a result of the investigation, more victims with relationships with other contractors have come forward with similar issues.

Larizza reminded homeowners to do their homework and check track records and licenses. He said fraudsters will often ask for money on projects, but are slow to show the results.

“If your contractor is being pushy. They’re insisting on more money and not providing documentation, that’s a red flag.”

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