Eventually, we all hire another party to complete a task for us. This might be to construct something, make repairs or even complete our taxes. When individuals hire an individual or company to complete these tasks, they not only believe that this party has the ability and expertise to complete these projects but also believe that they will be completed. A person that claims they are a licensed professional that can lawfully complete these acts and does not do so or is not properly licensed could face repercussions. In fact, this could result in fraud charges.
Take, for example, a recent matter in Louisiana. A man from Baton Rouge was hired to renovate a home. Based on reports, the man took money from the homeowner but allegedly failed to do any of the work he was hired to complete. This resulted in his arrest for contractor fraud.
According to reports, the parties entered into a contract in April, 2017, to repair flood damage that occurred in 2016. After the parties signed the contract, the homeowner paid the man roughly $20,000 over the course of a few months. The homeowner then went out of state for a few months, and, upon her return in September, she found that no work had been done on the home.
The contractor was contacted and he said he would begin work immediately. In November, the demolition process began and he began to install sheetrock; however, he stopped working on the house abruptly without any explanation. The homeowner then contacted the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors, whereupon she learned that he did not have a license. The man was arrested and charged with contractor fraud, engaging in the business of contracting without authorization and misapplication of payments.
When facing fraud charges, it is important to understand what these charges entail and how best to handle them. This often means exploring criminal defense options. This not only helps a defendant reduce or dismiss the charges against them but also assists with reducing or avoiding harsh penalties that could follow a conviction on these charges.