Bond set for $635,000 for contractor overcharging flood victims
BATON ROUGE - A man was arrested Wednesday morning after committing contractor fraud in the wake of the August 2016 floods.
According to Sheriff Jeff Wiley, 39-year-old Matthew Morris of Baton Rouge was arrested after the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office received multiple complaints regarding possible contractor fraud.
To date, 13 victims have filed criminal complaints against Morris, six of whom are over the age of 60. The victims say they signed a contract with Morris' company, Complete Construction Contractors LLC, for repairs.
Morris allegedly ignored multiple requests for estimates and only offered inflated estimates after demolition had already been completed. Some of these estimates were two-thirds the cost of the victims' entire insurance payout.
Investigators later learned that Morris charged victims for services that had not yet been started or completed.
Whenever the victims terminated their contracts, Morris mailed bills for thousands of dollars for "claim assistance" fees in addition to 50 percent of the total estimate of the job.
Morris was charged and booked into Ascension Parish Jail on 12 counts of residential contractor fraud, nine counts of misapplication of payments, six counts of theft of assets of aged persons, filing or maintaining false public records, 12 counts of prohibited activities and sanctions, and 11 counts of engaging in business of contracting without authority prohibited.
Bond was set at $635,000.