Slidell-based contractor arrested for reportedly defrauding flood victim

Slidell-based contractor arrested for reportedly defrauding flood victim

SLIDELL, LA (WAFB) - A Slidell man has been arrested for residential contractor fraud after he reportedly agreed to make repairs on a flood-damaged home and did not complete them.

The victim says on May 7, she contacted deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office to report that she paid a contractor, Mark Tomerlin, 51, a total of $13,168.96 to perform repairs to her home, which was destroyed in the August 2016 flooding. She says Tomerlin did perform the agreed upon work.

The report states the victim hired Tomerlin on January 30. She says Tomerlin told her he was a contractor with All-Star Construction based out of Slidell. She says she signed a contract outlining what work was to be done and agreed upon a total cost of $38,365.84. When she signed the contract, the victim says she wrote a check for $9,668.96 as a deposit. The victim claims she was told the work would be completed within five weeks.

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The victim says Tomerlin told her he did not currently have a contractor's license, but would be obtaining one soon. The victim claims Tomerlin did very little work at her home, usually only working for 2-3 hours per day, only 2 or 3 days per week.

The victim advises she paid Tomerlin another $3,500 when he told her he was low on money. She says March 28 was the last time Tomerlin showed up at the house to do any work. In the following weeks, the victim says she tried to call and text Tomerlin several times, but received no response.

Then on April 16, the victim says she received a text from Tomerlin saying he had injured his back and would be unable to work on her home. Tomerlin claimed he would make arrangements for someone else to complete the work on her home. The victim says Tomerlin failed to complete any of the work and did not refund her money.

Tomerlin was arrested on Wednesday, June 21 on charges of residential contractor fraud and engaging in the business of contracting without authority.

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