DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge siding business owner accused of stealing thousands from Baker residents is facing more charges and has been arrested again. This is at least this third arrest on similar charges.
According to the inmate summary sheet on the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office website, deputies arrested Tanweer Bhatti, the owner of Southern Siding, on charges of home improvement fraud, theft of assets for aged/disabled person, and a fugitive in other Louisiana jurisdiction. He was arrested Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 in Donaldsonville and bonded out of the Ascension Parish Jail. His bond was set at $40,000.
Bhatti was first arrested by Baker Police in October 2015 after six homeowners went to police. Police said he has allegedly swindled tens of thousands of dollars from older Baker homeowners, reportedly promising repairs but delivering poor, unfinished work. The victims were all over the age of 60 and retired.
After the first arrest police say new complaints emerged including one in Baker concerning work done in January 2014.
According to the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors, Bhatti's license expired in 2013 and he has been cited for several violations.
In 2009, he was fined after the board found him guilty of operating without home improvement registrations. In 2011, he was fined again after the board found him guilty of doing home improvement work in excess of $75,000.
Last year, the Better Business Bureau failed his business, Southern Siding, due to complaints and his standing with the LSLBC.
Baker Police said Bhatti preyed on elderly citizens, leaving their homes and bank accounts in shambles. Police also said Bhatti has continued to work for another business called Southern Remodelers and Kitchens.
In addition to the fraud and theft charges, Bhatti is accused of using his client's personal information to take out mortgage loans. Those accusations are being investigated by the Attorney General's office.