Sarasota, Florida-
In a startling turn of events, just as we were on the brink of exposing the notorious ​Stephen D. Contarino and his web of deceit in our eagerly awaited final installment of our investigative series titled "Exposed: How Contarino's Dubious Character Continues to Swindle the ​Manatee County Court System," fate intervened. Last week, amidst the ongoing saga surrounding this con artist, a bombshell update came crashing down upon us. It appears that Contarino, the mastermind behind this elaborate scheme, has been apprehended on an out-of-county warrant. Determined to uncover the truth, we reached out to various sources, including the ​Manatee County Jail, and what we discovered will leave you astounded. Brace yourself for a jaw-dropping revelation!

As we detailed in our previous article, Contarino has a long list of documented lawsuits and numerous allegations of fraudulent business activities. He has been ordered by the court to pay substantial amounts to claimants who have fallen victim to his unscrupulous practices. Through our extensive investigation into his intricate network of dubious business dealings involving ​DBAs and ​LLCs, we have traced over $175,000 in court-ordered judgments against him. In the year 2021 alone, he faced three separate cases that resulted in a total judgment exceeding $51,000.

Towards the end of last year, Contarino managed to secure a contract with Congressman Greg Steube for the construction of a two-level pole barn on the congressman's property. The contract, valued at $112,100, had Contarino representing himself as Danny of Contarino Country Creations, LLC, and Contarino Construction, LLC. Astonishingly, he served as both the contractor and the owner, a rather dubious arrangement.

Congressman Steube made payments to Contarino, with one payment of $28,025 made to Contarino Country Creations, LLC, and another payment of the same amount made to Contarino Construction, LLC. However, in a twist of events, construction work on the congressman's property came to a halt on April 13, 2023, when it failed an inspection conducted by Sarasota County. This revelation prompted Congressman Steube to dig deeper, leading to the discovery that Contarino was not, in fact, a licensed general contractor.

As a consequence, a felony warrant was issued for Contarino on Tuesday, September 12th. He was arrested in Manatee before being transferred to Sarasota County and subsequently released on bond. The charges brought against him are two counts of 3rd-degree felonies: "Contracting Without a License During a State of Emergency" and "Fraud-Employer Fails to Secure Payment Compensation." Contarino's arraignment has been scheduled for Friday, November 17, 2023.

Currently, there are three ongoing civil cases against Contarino in Manatee County, two of which seek damages totaling $114,000. In addition, the new felony case in Sarasota County reveals that Contarino swindled an additional $56,050 from Congressman Steube. When combined with the outstanding liens we uncovered, Contarino finds himself facing a staggering sum of $181,050 this year alone. His audacious pursuit of illegally retained funds appears unstoppable as he continues to leave a trail of victims in his wake.