TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Bay Area contractor who was the focus of several 8 On Your Side investigations is now the target of a new complaint filed by the Florida Attorney General.
The civil complaint against Danny Musgrove, of Seffner, seeks $361,270 based on what his former customers claim they are owed in eight complaints filed with the Attorney General’s office. The filing alleges one count of violation of Florida’s deceptive and unfair trade practices.
Musgrove was spotted leaving a meeting with the Attorney General in Oct. of 2019, but did not comment following several reports about claims made by disgruntled residents.
According to the complaint, Musgrove went out of business in Aug. 2020.
The Attorney General filed in Hillsborough County but the complaint states the violations occurred “in or affect more than one judicial circuit.”
The complaint calls for $10,000 fines for some violations and $15,000 for cases that involved senior citizens. Two of the eight complaints were filed by seniors.
Beth and Tim Smetana are seniors who hired Musgrove to build their home.
“He owes us $90,000,” Beth Smetana said. “The civil [case] is fine. But I still think he should go to jail for what he did to us and the others.”
Brenda Digeon hired Musgrove in August of 2018, but one year and $111,000 later her family was still waiting for the slab to be poured.
“The state attorneys need to stop turning a blind eye to these crimes,” Digeon said. “If they would follow the laws already put in place, the contractor fraud in this state would disappear.”
Last June, the state attorney in Pinellas and Pasco County opted against filing criminal charges against Musgrove.
At the time, Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser said the law requires the state to prove a contractor had the intent to defraud at the time they took the money.
“Did this guy do the morally wrong thing? 100 percent,” Rosenwasser said. “The case law is not on our side.”
Digeon’s attorney Candice Rojas-Colucci disagrees that the law is not on the state’s side and said she hopes the state’s civil complaint could open the door to criminal charges.
“That’s really all that Digeons want,” Rojas-Colucci said. “They don’t think they’ll ever see a dollar out of this but they don’t want anyone else’s dreams to be destroyed.”
Musgrove, who has yet to file a response to the state’s May 20 complaint, has not responded to requests for comment.
Attorney General Deputy Communications Director Kylie Mason reflected on the state “resolving this matter by Consent Final Judgment.”
“The judgment puts the company out of business and prohibits Mr. Musgrove from owning, operating or controlling any home construction business in the future,” Mason said.