A Baton Rouge contractor is now facing a slew of charges in multiple parishes after allegedly scamming dozens of August flood victims. Baton Rouge Police say the owner of Complete Construction, Matthew Morris, was arrested this morning for home improvement fraud, felony theft, theft of assets of an aged person, and exploitation of the infirmed. Legal analyst Tim Meche says there’s a chance Morris won’t serve any jail time.
“What they mainly want to do is to get the victims their money returned, and if the contractor’s able to do that, it’s possible he could escape some jail time,” Meche said.
Today’s arrest comes less than two weeks after Morris was booked in Ascension Parish after 13 flood victims claimed he overcharged them and failed to complete work. Morris is also wanted in Walker and Livingston Parish on charges of residential fraud and theft of assets of an aged person. Meche says the Attorney General will likely consolidate Morris’ charges.
“When you get multiple victims in multiple jurisdictions, it makes it very difficult to defend these cases,” Meche said.
Meche encourages flood victims who have dealt with Morris to contact authorities and file a complaint about any questionable behavior. He says unfortunately these arrests aren’t shocking because we typically see this kind of fraud after disasters.
“After Katrina they’re still prosecuting fraud cases that happened for contractors doing work after that. So it’s not surprising to see this happening,” Meche said.