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Gretna man arrested for contractor fraud in EBR, multiple victims scammed

5 years 11 months 1 week ago Saturday, December 23 2017 Dec 23, 2017 December 23, 2017 1:57 PM December 23, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A 43-year-old Gretna man was arrested after he failed to complete work for a woman affected by the August 2016 flood.

According to arrest records, an officer with the Baker Police Department was called to a home regarding a complainant about contractor fraud.

The victim stated that in Feb. 2017, she paid a contractor by the name of Marlon Kevin Thomas $25,000 to do repairs to her home.

Thomas started the repairs and improvements but hadn't been back to the house to complete the job in a while, according to arrest records.

The victim provided authorities with the phone number she had for Thomas. The officer made several attempts to contact Thomas with that number, but never heard from Thomas, according to arrest records.

On Aug. 23, the victim went to the police department and identified Thomas as the contractor who failed to complete repairs to her home.

The officer met with the victim again on Aug. 30, according to arrest records. The victim stated Thomas had not returned to do any more work on her house since the beginning of the month. She also said she tried to call him, but his phone would go to voicemail.

The victim also said that out of the $25,000 she paid Thomas, none of that money was used to buy materials for the repairs. She stated that the sheetrock that was put up, as well as other building materials, was donated by her church.

Large portions of sheetrock and plywood were missing from various areas in the house, according to arrest records. The roof was also left unfinished.

Another victim claimed she was the victim of contractor fraud in October, according to arrest records. She stated that she had hired Thomas for previous construction jobs, and he completed the jobs in a timely manner with exceptional work.

The victim originally paid Thomas $40,000 of her own money until her mortgage company sent her a check for the improvements. The victim signed a contract with Thomas and the work began. Thomas then requested an additional $50,000 in February.

The victim again gave Thomas the money from her own savings account. She then received a check from her mortgage company for the amount of $107,427.19, and the check was made out to both her and Thomas.

She said Thomas convinced her to sign off on the check in order for him to put the check in his business account. The victim said that Thomas then wrote her a check from his business account on the same day, and told her she could cash the check in order to use the funds.

The victim said she received a letter in the mail from her bank claiming the check written on Thomas's business account was returned due to non-sufficient funds. The letter further stated the funds were removed from the victim's bank account and charged a return unpaid fee.

The victim contacted Thomas about the NSF check and he agreed to repay her the money.

In Aug., Thomas stopped coming to the victim's residence to complete home improvements, and his employees claimed that Thomas did not pay them. She sent Thomas several text messages, asking him to return and complete the work. Thomas made numerous excuses, according to arrest records.

The victim stated she sent a certified demand letter to Thomas, requesting him to repay her the money. The letter was received and signed by Thomas in October. But Thomas still has yet to re-contact the victim or sent any form of payment.

Thomas currently has four active felony warrants for arrest, according to arrest records. The company owned by Thomas, Hottan LLC., is currently not licensed by the State of Louisiana Board of Licensed Contractors because Thomas failed to pay the worker's compensation insurance.

Thomas was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Saturday on two counts of contractors; misapplication of payments prohibited, one count of ISS worthless checks and one count of residential contractor fraud. His bond is set at $15,000.

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