Matt Mackinder Sep. 24, 2014, 9:42am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi recently filed a lawsuit against Genie Pools Florida Inc. and two of its principal owners, Gabriel E. Guardia and Liz M. Guardia, alleging deceptive and unfair business practices.

According to an investigation by Bondi’s Consumer Protection Division, Genie Pools contracted for pool construction services with Florida homeowners and allegedly violated contract terms by demanding large upfront deposits, causing delays in construction and producing products of poor quality. Many consumers alleged that they paid the total contract price for incomplete construction.

In an online advertisement, Genie Pools said that it was the fastest pool contractor in Miami-Dade County, allegedly in order to mislead Florida consumers into hiring Genie Pools over other pool companies.

The complaint also alleges that Genie Pools failed to include the mandatory construction lien law language in contracts, failed to obtain or assist with obtaining releases of lien for its customers and failed to pay its subcontractors and material suppliers, which resulted in liens on consumer properties.

The defendants are facing a permanent injunction, paying restitution to all consumers, civil penalties amounting to more than $10,000 per violation, attorney’s fees and other relief the court may assess. The lawsuit also seeks to prohibit anyone associated with Genie Pools from any business activity involving pool and spa construction or remodeling services to Florida residents.

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