Contractor arrested after allegedly failing to complete work on home of fire victim

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A contractor was arrested Thursday on fraud charges after a warrant for his arrest was issued on April 6, but was released from jail after posting bond, according to officials.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office reported deputies was contacted by the victim in this case back on March 16. According to reports, the victim said she paid the contractor, identified as Leonel Carbajal, 40, of Kenner, $36,000 to complete repairs on her home, but that he failed to complete any of the work.

Carbajal was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a charge of residential contractor fraud.

Officials said he was released after posting a $60,000 bond.

The victim reportedly said she hired Carbajal back in September of 2016 after her home was destroyed by a fire in July. Reports state that she said Carbajal told her he was the president and CEO of L&H Renovations, LLC out of St. Rose. She allegedly said she paid Carbajal $6,000 for demolition, labor and materials. The victim reportedly said after working for three days, Carbajal stopped work and told her he had to go to Honduras for a personal family matter, but that he would return to complete the work.

Reports indicate the victim continued to pay Carbajal throughout the next few months to continue construction on her home and continually had problems both getting in touch with Carbajal and with the timeliness with which he was completing work. The victim reportedly said she made payments to Carbajal for $5,000 and another payment of $25,000.

During the investigation, it was discovered Carbajal is not licensed with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors, according to deputies. The victim has also not been refunded any of the money paid to Carbajal, a report stated.

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