Former Plumbing Rescue employee arrested in probe

Largo, Florida -- It's a company accused of ripping off customers ... many of whom are senior citizens.

10 Investigates has done several stories about Plumbing Rescue and Thursday authorities finally stepped in and slapped the handcuffs on one of those accused of ripping people off.

After months of investigations, former Plumbing Rescue employee Brandon Knowles was arrested on three counts of grand theft and three counts of working construction without a permit.

For more than a year, 10 Investigates has told viewers about complaints lodged against the company. Although Plumbing Rescue owner Jim Myers wasn't arrested he did shut down the company and now the state is going after some of his former employees.

REPORT: investigators find problems with Plumbing Rescue

Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater launched a Department of Insurance fraud investigation early last year revealing multiple complaints against the company including deceptive practices.

Sandra Bowen, whose parents hired Plumbing Rescue asks, "How many people are out there they are doing this to? "

Bowen was suspicious that Plumbing Rescue was taking advantage of her parents.

According to Bowen, "And they're selling them thousands of dollars' worth of work they don't need."

CAUGHT: Undercover sting cites plumbing company

Bowen's parents were charged more than $8,000 to unclog a toilet, just like another victim. Peggy Mister. Same problem. Same price.

Plumbing Rescue told Bowen's parents the pipes were collapsed. 10 News heard that story before. However, after seeing teh TV investigations and finding out permits were never pulled for the job, Bowen hired another plumber, who told 10 News there was nothing wrong with the pipes.

Then, after Plumbing Rescue closed, Knowles continued with what authorities say was his illegal activity. He opened "Mr. Drain Pro" but he was arrested in Hillsborough County because he was using the license of a plumber in the Panhandle not his own."

As Knowles was arrested Thursday morning, 10 News asked him: "Was taking advantage of people a plumbing rescue practice?"

A handcuffed Knowles said, "Do we have to do this? I don't want to do this. I don't want to speak with you sir."

10 News asked him if he wanted to take advantage of elderly people.

And those who say they were victims of the company's practices hope Knowles will be convicted so others can't be taken advantage of.

Mister just wants it to stop and it looks like she is getting her wish. Plumbing Rescue is out of business, Brandon Knowles is facing criminal charges and there is an arrest warrant out for another former employee, who the state says was taking advantage of consumers and belongs in jail.


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