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Sheriff lambastes Matthew Morris after trial Tuesday

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ASCENSION PARISH - A contractor accused of fraud in multiple parishes took a plea deal in an Ascension Parish courtroom Tuesday.

Matthew Morris of Complete Construction Contractors, LLC has allegedly taken advantage of dozens of victims following the August 2016 flood. 

Morris pleaded guilty to one count of filing false public records. He's been sentenced to four years hard labor with credit for time served. All other charges in the parish have been dismissed, and restitution totaling more than $200,000 will be paid out to the victims.

During the trial, a judge told Morris he should be thankful for the deal he got.

"I've seen a lack of remorse. Never have I heard you say sorry. You preyed on people who lost everything," the judge said.

Morris responded with an apology, claiming he "always had the people in my mind" and that he wants laws changed to protect residents and local contractors. 

Morris was facing 84 charges in Ascension Parish related to 18 victims. This latest appearance comes two weeks after agreeing to a plea deal in Livingston Parish for similar charges.

The Ascension Parish District Attorney's Office said it expects all victims in the parish to receive restitution. 

In Livingston, Morris pleaded guilty in his best interest to one count of filing and maintaining false public records. He was originally facing 51 separate counts.

As part of that deal, Morris has to pay more than $85,000 in restitution and was handed a four-year prison sentence with credit for time served. He still maintains his innocence, even with the guilty plea. 

Even after today's hearing, Morris still faces charges in East Baton Rouge, St. John The Baptist and Terrebonne Parishes. 

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