Contractor accused of defrauding flood victims released on bond
BATON ROUGE – The contractor accused of defrauding thousands of dollars from residents in the wake of August’s flooding has posted bond.
According to prison records, 39-year-old Matthew Morris was released from Ascension Parish Jail Friday after posting a $635,000 bond. Morris used a bailbonds service out of Baton Rouge.
Morris is accused of defrauding 13 victims, six of whom are over the age of 60 years old. Investigators say the victims signed a contract with Morris’ company, Complete Construction Contractors, LLC for repairs. Morris then allegedly ignored requests for estimates and only offered inflated estimates after demolition had already been completed. Deputies say some of these estimates were two-thirds the cost of the victims’ entire insurance payout.
Deputies also learned that Morris had charged victims for services that had not yet been started or completed. When the victims attempted to terminate the contract, Morris would then bill for thousands of dollars for “claim assistance” fees in addition to 50 percent of the total job estimate.
Morris was charged with 12 counts of residential contract 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.