CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Louis Bruno, the founder of air conditioning company, Bruno Total Home, is now in jail. Cape Coral police announced Bruno's arrest Tuesday evening, detailing multiple counts of fraud against him and some of his associates.
Bruno has been under investigation since January 2019, when law enforcement raided his Bonita Springs offices. Customers claimed Bruno and his company ran up big bills for work not needed and signed customers up for financing without their knowledge. On the day the investigation started, customer Ann Carini said a salesperson, "used my Social Security number to call a finance company without my knowledge. Now this company is telling us that I owe them ten thousand dollars, because they have already paid Bruno."
A criminal complaint filed in Lee County today lists 40 counts of fraud against Louis Bruno and nine others. Among them, Scheme to Defraud, Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification and Communications Fraud.
As FOX 4 continued investigating the Bruno case, we also heard allegations that Bruno convinced people to have work done which he claimed would be paid for under the "Property Assessed Clean Energy Program. Dennis Haussler sued Bruno Total home just before last year's raid. Haussler says he bought a new air conditioner from Bruno Total Home Performance after hearing a radio advertisement. “I’m driving to work in the morning and I hear this Louis Bruno on the radio all the time, and he’s saying, don’t take money out of your pocket,” said Haussler, who lives in Cape Coral.
The program Bruno was selling is called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE. It allows customers to make energy efficient investments in their home and finance it through voluntary assessments of their property tax bill. Haussler says he never signed a paper but was told he was approved for the PACE program. Haussler later got a bill for $37,000, with first payment due in 30 days, even though they were told by Bruno they had three years to make their first payment. Haussler says he asked Louis Bruno about the loan and was told it was through a company called Greensky. When Haussler called Greensky, he says the company told him they'd never heard of the PACE program.
Bruno sold Bruno Total Home in December 2019, while the state probe into the business continued.
Bruno is due in court to face the charges against him on Wedneday at 10:00am.
The other people named in the criminal complaint, all said to be former employees, are Tammy Shreier, Dustin Baucom, Tyler Murray, Ronald Toledo, John Pennell, Celeste Robinson, Holly Hansen, Frederico Munoz and Matthew Harrell.