TALLAHASSEE — On June 29, Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the conviction of a Florida man on multiple felony charges for operating a multimillion-dollar pool contracting scheme.
Amore’ Pools Inc. owner Brian Washburn, 35, of Vero Beach, defrauded Florida homeowners out of nearly $3 million, often leaving dangerous debris piles and gaping holes in victims’ backyards instead of performing the promised work. Attorney General Moody's Statewide Prosecutors secured Washburn's felony convictions.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “More than 150 Floridians made huge upfront payments to have pools built on their properties. The defendant took their money but failed to do the work—often leaving victims with large holes in their backyards. Law enforcement uncovered this multimillion-dollar scheme, and now my Office of Statewide Prosecution has secured multiple felony convictions related to this massive fraud.”
Washburn induced homeowners in Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties to sign contracts with promises of low prices and quick, professional work. The contracts required hefty upfront deposits and large front-end payments. Once Washburn received the deposit, the company sometimes abandoned the projects before work began. In other cases, Washburn dug gaping holes in the victims’ backyards with dangerous debris piles around the project site. The company left the majority of the pool projects uncompleted, resulting in expensive property damage for homeowners. In an attempt to cover up the fraud, Washburn used a third-party check cashing store to convert the deposits into cash.
The jury found Washburn guilty of nine felony counts: one count of organized scheme to defraud, a first-degree felony; two counts of money laundering of more than $100,000, both first-degree felonies; and six counts of fraudulent use of personal identification information, a third-degree felony.
Washburn’s wife and co-conspirator, Chyrstal Washburn, 40, remains in custody at the Indian River County Jail. Chrystal Washburn’s charges are currently pending.
Assistant Statewide Prosecutors Jonathan Bridges and Stephanie Tew prosecuted this case.