1 contractor, 4 victims, more than $74k taken

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A wanted Baton Rouge contractor has been arrested after reportedly defrauding four different victims for a total of almost $75,000.

Officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office say Homer N. Charles, 53, was arrested on Tuesday, July 18 as part of a warrant sweep. He accused of collecting money from multiple victims, then not completing the promised work.

In June of 2016, Charles reportedly collected a total of $14,058.21 from one victim, who says he paid Charles the money to make repairs on his home, but those repairs were never completed. The victim says Charles would work "every so often," but did not complete the agreed upon demolition work, and did not refund his money. This victim says his home then flooded in August, but he was still unable to get in touch with Charles to get his money back.

Next, in July of 2016, another resident fell victim to Charles. The victim contacted the Baton Rouge Police Department, claiming she hired Charles to make repairs on her flood damaged home on N 38th St., but that after paying him to replace her floors, Charles completed some of the work and then never returned. She says in January of 2017, she sent a letter to Charles, demanding he complete the work agreed upon within 15 days, but that he never responded. This victim says she is suffering a loss of $6,000 due to Charles' actions.

Then between September and December of 2016, Charles reportedly swindled another victim. This time, he was hired to repair a home in north Baton Rouge that was damaged in the August flooding. The victim says a total of $21,804.46 was paid to Charles, but that he left the sheet rock partially installed and even installed some doors backwards. Officials did verify that Charles is a licensed contractor, but the victim says he dodged her calls and did not complete the promised work.

And again in December of 2016, another of Charles' victims came forward, saying she hired him to complete repairs on her home on Cletus Dr. that was damaged in the flooding, but that Charles did not finish the agreed upon work. This victim says she paid Charles $30,000, plus an initial deposit, for carpentry, windows, doors, and finishing, but that Charles completed a small amount of the work and then did not return to the property. She says she sent out a letter to Charles on January 15, but that he made no attempt to get in touch with her. She is currently suffering a loss of $32,500.

Charles was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. He's facing numerous charges of residential contractor fraud, felony theft, misapplication of payments, and fugitive from justice.

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