This is a new site dedicated to the public warning and dissemination of all types of frauds and scams being conducted in Key West, and Monroe County Florida. These include fraudulent and unlicensed vacation rentals, illegal contracting, and all businesses ripping off their customers or employees.
Please report all such frauds to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have information about any of the fraudulent rentals and businesses listed here or that should be listed here, please contribute them to the site. You will remain anonymous.
Our first report concerns an illegal tree service operating out of a house on Stock Island.
AAA Plus Tree Service
This is the name of the business told to employees. There is no such corporation or LLC in the state according to the Florida Secretary of State. If it were a single proprietorship, to use a company name, that name must be registered with the Secretary of State and it is not.
On their website, which seems to have gone up after this page went up, they say they are an LLC. They are not an LLC in Florida. If they are in another state, they are not registered to conduct business in Florida. They claim they are insured and bonded, yea right. Notice that they provide NO STREET ADDRESS, not even a mailing address. I also did not see a single email address on their site.
A service that trims and/or cuts down trees requires a state license of either Class A or Class B type. This "business" does not appear to be licensed at all.
Worse, it rips off its own employees. This business fails to pay employees and when it does pay, it does so in cash. This means that no taxes are being withheld, no FICA payments are being made nor are their payments made into the state unemployment fund. Still worse, they do not have Workers Compensation Insurance. If you hire them, this means that you are personally liable (along with your business entities) should a worker be injured or killed.
This also means you have entered into an ILLEGAL CONTRACT. This "business" does not exist so you can't be sued for payment, and you will have great difficulty if you have to sue them later for any reason.
This business has 3 main principles. Research into this company and its operators has just begun. The owner is Joe Klimas, the manager/crew chief is Michael and there is an office manager named Rueben (or Ruben). This fraudulent and criminal enterprise operates from a house at C38 10th Avenue on Stock Island which has been rented for 6 months.
Their telephone numbers are; Michael (Crew Chief) 718-576--5870, Ruben (Office Manager) 305-619-8316. If you are doing business with people with these telephone numbers, immediately contract law enforcement and consult an attorney. Owner Joe refuses to give employees his telephone number.
It is CURRENTLY (as of Oct. 26, 2017) doing work at the COCONUT GROVE TRAILER PARK on Stock Island, where is located one of their yellow bucket trucks which has no license plate. Their second yellow basket truck is sitting at their home location on 10th Ave and has license plates of N42-81Y. None of their vehicles have any identification or advertising signs on them, much less displaying a Florida license number which is required on all advertising and contracts.
In addition, Joe apparently purchased a black pickup truck over the internet which still has North Dakota plates on it. This vehicle is unregistered, unlicensed and likely un-insured. The truck license number is 031-BXW (North Dakota Plates).
This business hires young people and the homeless for the labor it needs and then fails to pay them. They use all sorts of excuses and lies to convince people to continue working while paying a mere fraction of what they owe until employees demand payment and they fire them and refuse to pay.
Apparently the owner who reportedly lives in New York is already on the radar of the IRS and other federal agencies.
If you are a former employee or customer victim of this fraud and unlicensed contracting, please report it to us immediately. During the hurricance emergency which runs into December 2017, this is a criminal felony crime. Stop our community and its vulnerable workers from being ripped off and prevent customers being scammed and on the hook for any injuries or damage.
If these trucks show up on your property do not do business with them. Report this fraud to law enforcement authorities imnmediately. Consult your legal counsel.
LEFT: The truck without a license plate at Coconut Grove Trailer Park. Above: Crew Chief Michael at C38 10th Avenue, Stock Island. Top: Trucks belonging to this illegal tree service parked in front of house.
Photos taken in late October 2017.
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