Unlicensed plumber ordered to pay $26K to former Brevard customers

Robert Hibbert pleaded no contest to grand theft, organized fraud

VIERA, Fla. – An unlicensed contractor accused of defrauding customers throughout Central Florida pleaded no contest to eight felony charges Thursday including grand theft, organized fraud, and contracting without a license during an emergency.

Robert Hibbert, 60, has a history of fraud and theft convictions dating back to 1995, court records show.

As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Hibbert must pay $26,700 in restitution to seven Brevard County victims.

A judge sentenced Hibbert to 45 months in prison but gave him credit for the nearly four years Hibbert was incarcerated while awaiting his Brevard County court cases to be resolved.

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Hibbert moved to Vero Beach shortly after being released from a New Jersey prison in 2016, court records show.

A Palm Bay couple said they paid Hibbert $9,300 to repair an underground plumbing leak in 2017.

After Hibbert tore up the floor of their home with a jackhammer, the couple claims he never returned to finish the job.

The customers originally found an advertisement for Hibbert on the home improvement website HomeAdvisor.

Investigators later discovered Hibbert had stolen the identity of a licensed plumber and fraudulently claimed to work for an established plumbing company, court records show.

Following Hibbert’s arrest in July 2017, authorities identified six additional Brevard County victims who claim they were also defrauded by the unlicensed contractor.

In 2019, as Hibbert was awaiting trial on the Brevard County charges, he was arrested in Indian River County on felony charges including grand theft and falsely identifying himself as a contractor.

The following year Hibbert was arrested in Martin County on charges of grand theft, elderly exploitation and contracting without a license, court records show.

Hibbert entered no contest pleas and was sentenced to a year in jail in each of those cases, according to court records. He completed those jail sentences in February.

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About the Author

Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Mike DeForest has been covering Central Florida news for more than two decades.

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