EBRSO: Fraud contractor paid thousands, never finished flood repairs
BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputies say an unlicensed contractor is accused of making shoddy repairs to a flood victim's home and taking thousands of dollars.
EBRSO deputies say Michael Hartford Jr. was paid $11,800 by a flood victim to make repairs to damages caused by the August flood. The homeowner said he paid him in December, but Hartford stopped showing up after three days of work.
The victim told investigators he asked Hartford for receipts for repair items bought, but he never provided them.
Hartford was officially fired from the job on January 20, according to deputies, and another contractor was hired to finish the job. The victim said he contacted Hartford to get a refund, but never got in touch with him. Hartford was sent a signed certified letter in regards to the refund, according to the homeowner, but never replied.
The new contractor found that Hartford had painted over molded sheetrock in an effort to make it look new, according to investigators, and that sheetrock hung by Hartford was incorrectly applied.
Deputies conducted an inquiry through the Louisiana Licensing Board of Contractors, learning that Hartford is unlicensed in the state of Louisiana.
East Baton Rouge deputies have requested an arrest warrant for Hartford.
Hartford is facing charges of theft of the assets of a person who is aged, residential contractor fraud, and engaging in business of contracting without authority.