HomeCrimeLuxury Viera Home builders arrested for fraud

Luxury Viera Home builders arrested for fraud

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BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In a case that has sent shockwaves through the local construction industry, Christopher and Anthony Simms, owners of CDS Builders, formerly Simms Builders, find themselves at the center of a criminal investigation. Agents of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office have recently revealed details of an alleged organized fraud scheme, implicating Simms in a series of deceptive practices amounting to nearly $300,000.

Their website shows that they are currently developing in Viera and Titusville luxury subdivisions.

The investigation unfolded following a complaint by property owners Alexandre and Victoria Mai. The couple engaged Simms Builders, a company owned by Christopher Simms and his brother Anthony Donald Simms, to construct a new home on their Melbourne Beach property.

From their website

According to official documents, the Mays signed a contract in January 2021, agreeing to pay a total of $1,610,400 for the construction project. The couple wired an initial 10% deposit of $161,040 to Simms Builders’ account at Seacoast Bank. As the project progressed, additional payments were made, bringing the total transferred to $241,560.

However, the investigation alleges that the work carried out was far from commensurate with the funds received. The primary construction performed was the erection of a retaining wall, costing $43,000, which was not part of the original contract. The construction of this wall took approximately six months, from November 2021 to completion in the same month. Moreover, several checks totaling about $9,402.87 intended for the Mays’ project were issued but remained unaccounted for.

The Mays’ growing concerns were exacerbated by the lack of communication from the Simms brothers. The situation reached a tipping point when construction ground to a halt, despite the promise of a full home build within 18 months. A certified letter sent by the Mays’ attorney notified the Simms brothers of their material breach of contract and provided a ten-day window for remedy, yet no response or effort to continue construction was forthcoming.

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During the investigation, Anthony Simms, the licensed contractor, admitted financial difficulties but failed to provide the home construction promised in the agreement. Christopher Simms, who held the position of Office Manager, resigned from the company in July 2021, further complicating matters.

Based on evidence gathered, investigators now assert that the Simms brothers engaged in a calculated effort to defraud the Mays and other clients. Allegedly misappropriating funds for purposes unrelated to the projects, the duo reportedly disbursed funds to cover payroll, unrelated expenses, and other activities not connected to the contractual obligations.

As a result of these findings, the brothers are now facing charges of Organized Fraud, an offense that carries a potential penalty of imprisonment and substantial fines. The alleged scheme, believed to have defrauded the Mays of over $200,000, has raised questions about the construction industry’s accountability and transparency.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation underscores the importance of diligence when selecting contractors and entering into construction agreements. The case serves as a cautionary tale for property owners and highlights the significance of proper due diligence and communication in such transactions. The legal proceedings are now set to unfold as the Simms brothers face the repercussions of their alleged fraudulent actions.

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