LAKELAND | Prosecutors say they've identified a dozen victims of a Winter Haven tree service that cheated elderly customers out of thousands of dollars and performed work that in many cases did more harm than good.
George Edward Smith, 53, and his wife, Bonita Cathrall, 54, the owners of Champions Tree Service, were first arrested in October and charged with defrauding three customers. On Thursday, the State Attorney's Office filed additional charges involving nine more victims, ranging in age from 63 to 91.
Not only is this whole thing sad about the elderly being taken advantage of, but how it afect the smaller business owners trying to get strarted. People will now think twice on hiring a new lco to do the work, they will go to the larger, longer in business companies, basicly making it even harder on the industry.
A posivtive side for the newer lco's is that it will make them be more personal with the customers and not just cut-n-go!