Attorney: Melbourne pool company defrauded nearly 600 families out of thousands of dollars
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Melbourne pool company is being sued by multiple homeowners for work that was never completed.
In fact, the lawyer of these victims says Legacy Pools, LLC never had any intentions of completing the pools at all. Instead, he believes the Legacy Pools was defrauding hundreds of people for years.
Melissa Vega reached out to FOX 35 News after she spent $45,000 on a pool that was never built. Instead, she says Legacy Pools came out and dug a hole in her yard but never did anything else.
"We would hear the number of frogs at night. It sounded like a jungle back there," said Vega.
Brown water pooled up inside the pool. Grass began to grow a foot tall around its edge. She feared her dogs would fall into the gaping hole.
"When the big mound of dirt started growing grass you know it’s a long time," said Vega.
Vega hired Legacy Pools in June 2021 to build her pool. She vetted them out, signed the contract, and gave them her first large deposit. They told her it would take eight months to build but eventually, they stopped showing up all together. Then she saw Legacy Pools filed for bankruptcy and the owner Charles Black was arrested for fraud in December 2022.
"I couldn’t believe it," said Vega. "I couldn’t believe that one thing I’ve always said that wouldn’t happen to me happened to me."
Vega is not alone. Blake Stewart of Stewart Law is representing multiple families who have filed lawsuits against Legacy Pools. He believes upwards of 600 families were defrauded out of tens of thousands of dollars.
"People spent their life savings and some people were dying from cancer and terminal illnesses," said Stewart. "I talked to one woman on the phone and she said she hired them because they promised to build her a backyard oasis. She wanted to spend time in her oasis with my family before she passed and some of those people are not with us anymore."
Stewart says he has evidence that shows Legacy Pools had been doing this for years. He says Black and his wife ran the same scheme in other states too until those states revoked their licenses.
"Their fraud was based around getting as much money as they could upfront. They would get massive deposits from people. Then they would do the bare minimum amount of work required," said Stewart.
Vega has also been in contact with Stewart’s law firm to file a claim. She has hired another company to finish the job that has taken nearly two years and her life savings to complete.
"We were all excited about it, and he took that away from us because now the excitement turned into anger and sadness," said Vega.