Baton Rouge contractor arrested, reportedly committed fraud against flood victim
BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge contractor was arrested Tuesday after he reportedly failed to make repairs on a flood victim's home.
According to arrest records, Joseph Armant, 35, owner of RJ Custom Home & Interior, Inc., was arrested after a complaint was filed on April 19 by the Louisiana State Licensing Board of Contractors.
Armant allegedly agreed to make repairs to the flood-damaged house and entered into a contract with the resident. The job was supposed to be completed for just over $112,000, according to arrest records.
The homeowner reported making down payments of $7,000 on August 31, 2016; $3,521.74 on September 6; and $32,500 on January 2, 2017. The total amount the homeowner reported paying was $43,021.74, according to arrest records.
Armant reportedly said that he was licensed, but the homeowner became suspicious after entering the contact, according to arrest records.
Officials discovered through the investigation that Armant did have a business, J.E.W. Design & Construction, Inc., which held a home improvement license.
It appears the license number for that business was additionally used for RJ Custom Home & Interior, Inc. The license for J.E.W. Design & Construction, Inc. expired in 2011, according to arrest records.
The homeowner reportedly contacted Armant in March and expressed his concerns about the licensing. Armant allegedly said that he would provide the proper documentation to the homeowner, but he never did, according to arrest records.
After Armant failed to show him his license, the homeowner issued Armant a letter stating their contract was null and void. Arment then claimed to have renewed his license on September 22, 2016. This was after the initial contract was signed with the homeowner, according to arrest records. Armant is believed to have altered his license in order to make it appear like it was valid.
Armant was then arrested Tuesday, June 6 at the Best Western on Energy Drive. When officials first arrived at the room Armant was staying in, he refused to open the door. After opening the door, Armant then reportedly struggled with officers as they attempted to arrest him.
Armant was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of residential contractor fraud, forgery and resisting an officer.