More victims speak out following contractor arrest
DENHAM SPRINGS - A contractor's bond has now been set at more than $600,000. Matthew Morris was arrested Wednesday by the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office after it received multiple complaints regarding possible contractor fraud.
Morris, the owner of Complete Construction Contractors, faces a number of charges in Ascension Parish including contractor fraud, misapplication of payments and theft of assets of aged persons. So far, 13 victims have filed criminal complaints against Morris.
Following Wednesday's report, more victims are coming forward to 2 On Your Side.
A few months ago, Courtney Stricklin took a job with Complete Construction as a production and construction manager. She also signed a contract with the same company to work on her flood-damaged house.
Stricklin says she was working long hours at her job but noticed not much was getting done where she lives.
"They just completed what little bit of demo was left in my house," she said.
Stricklin paid Complete Construction $15,000 to do that work. She says she was billed thousands of dollars for work that was not completed including ripping up her tile floor, which is still in her house and removing a hot water heater that was unaffected by the flood and is still in her attic.
Stricklin quit her job and hired an attorney, but says most of the paperwork and requests sent to Morris have gone unanswered. Morris has slapped Stricklin with a $36,943.76 lien her home, which she has to take care of before construction moves forward on her house.
The lien says Complete Construction completed over $34,000 worth of emergency services and over $17,000 of claims assistance work. According to the paperwork, Complete Construction says it completed almost $52,000 worth of work at Stricklin's home.
"I was able to discredit well over $30,000 worth of work that he said that he did," says Stricklin.
Now she's worried about all the other victims who may still be out there.
"At the time I had left, Matt had had about 70 people sign contracts," she said.
Stricklin says contracts were signed in Ascension, Livingston and East Baton Rouge Parishes.
Stricklin has a court date later this month, when she's hoping the lien is cleared so she can start construction on her home.
Authorities say Morris could be facing more charges soon in other parishes.