Contractors play a very vital role in our day-to-day lives. They build our houses, they build our office buildings, they fix our hospitals and schools. However, sometimes they can run into problems on the job site that can manifest into even bigger problems in the future.Are you a contractor in the Livingston Parish or Denham Springs area of Louisiana? Have you been charged with contractor fraud and don’t know what to do next? Our team of lawyers at the office of Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney are here to help.
Mr. Barkemeyer has worked on and defended many clients in the past facing contractor fraud charges and is highly skilled at crafting cases to help them find the most positive outcome in their case. Contractor fraud charges are very serious in Louisiana and should not be taken lightly. However, they should also not be accepted without a fight, especially if you feel you have been unfairly charged and are seeking help to remedy the charges.
Contractor fraud can be charged because of many different reasons, some of which seem small but are still important and can cause real headaches for your future and the future of your contractor business. The punishments for charges of contractor fraud can be very severe so it is imperative that you understand why you are being charged and how to avoid the charges in the future. Contractor fraud may be inferred when a person does any or all of the following:
(1) Fails to perform any work during a forty-five-day period of time or longer after receiving payment, unless a longer period is specified in the contract.
(2) Uses, or causes an agent or employee to use, any deception, false pretense, or false promise to cause any person to enter into a contract for home improvements or residential construction.
(3) Damages the property of any person with the intent to induce that person to enter into a contract for home improvements or residential construction.
(4) Knowingly makes a material misrepresentation of fact in any application for a permit required by state, municipal, or parochial law.
(5) Knowingly makes a material misrepresentation of fact in any lien placed upon the property at issue.
(6) Fails to possess the required license for home improvements or residential construction required by applicable state, municipal, or parochial statute.
(7) Knowingly employs a subcontractor who does not possess the required license by applicable state, municipal, or parochial statute.
● Contractor receives a down payment and never starts the job
● Files a permit application in name of different entity
● Does work without necessary license
● Hires unlicensed subcontractor to do work.
In Louisiana, there are two types of contractor fraud, one being a misdemeanor and one being a felony. Each type has its own punishments and repercussions that go along with it. The punishments for misdemeanor contractor fraud are stated as: When the misappropriation or intentional taking amounts to a value of less than one thousand dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned for not more than six months, fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both. If the offender in such cases has been convicted of theft two or more times previously, then upon conviction the offender shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years, or fined not more than two thousand dollars.
Furthermore, the punishments for felony contractor fraud are stated as: When the misappropriation or intentional taking amounts to a value of one thousand dollars or more, but less than five thousand dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or may be fined not more than three thousand dollars, or both.
When the misappropriation or intentional taking amounts to a value of five thousand dollars or more but less than twenty-five thousand dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years, or may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both. When the misappropriation or intentional taking amounts to a value of twenty-five thousand dollars or more, the offender shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than twenty years, or may be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars, or both.
Besides the prison time and fines that go along with contractor fraud charges in Louisiana, the defendant will most likely be required to pay restitution as well. Restitution involves the court ordering the defendant to pay back restitution to the victim for the cost of repairing work fraudulently performed by the contractor and the cost of completing work for which the contractor was paid but did not complete. The judge can place the defendant on felony probation for up to three years. The restitution could be ordered to be paid out during that time.
Being charged with contractor fraud can be a really serious offense especially in the state of Louisiana. It brings along with it very stringent punishments that can severely affect your future as well as the future of your family and friends. Therefore it should not be taken lightly and must be fought against with the utmost care and knowledge. Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney has been defending clients in contractor fraud cases for many years. He has a huge amount of experience in the contractor fraud arena and can help you fight the charges so that you can achieve the most positive result possible in your case against contractor fraud charges. If you have been charged with contractor fraud in Livingston Parish or Denham Springs, we highly recommend you contact us so that we can help you fight your case and regain your freedom. Give us a call at 225-964-6720 for immediate legal representation in a contractor fraud case.