UPDATE: woman charged after accusing contractor of fraud
BATON ROUGE – A woman who accused a Zachary based contractor of residential contractor fraud was arrested for criminal mischief.
According to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Mary Buck, 27, was issued a misdemeanor summons for criminal mischief earlier this month. Buck was charged after an arrest warrant for Joseph Black Seguin, the owner of JBS Construction, was recalled in April.
Deputies say Buck hired JBS Construction to perform restoration on her home after the August flooding. Detectives learned that Buck and her father-in-law signed a proposal and a $40,000 check to Seguin for the work in November. Buck said that her husband was aware of the payment.
Investigators say Buck’s husband was not aware of the payment and did not give authorization for it on his behalf. The proposal was also signed without his permission.
Buck told deputies that she tried to get out of her contract with Seguin after her husband found out about the payment. Buck told deputies that Seguin performed mold remediation, sheet rock, textured bathtub, plumbing and electrical work on her home and she requested the remaining funds.
In the original arrest warrant, Buck told detectives that she dismissed Seguin after allegedly not receiving invoices for work performed.
The original arrest warrant also said Buck accused Seguin of using a subcontractor that did not have a mold remediation license. However, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture allows certified licensed pesticide companies to apply antimicrobial products without a “mold remediation” license. The Department of Agriculture verified that the subcontractor, Wilson Services LLC, applied a wood destroying organism product approved by the state.
On April 24, detectives advised Buck that the residential contractor fraud warrant was recalled because of newfound information and the fact that Wilson Services LLC was certified to perform the treatment on her home.
“New evidence has turned the criminal investigation into a civil matter," EBRSO cited in the recall request.
Buck was arrested on May 4.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office says the investigation into the dispute is ongoing.