BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Many residential contractors have been arrested on charges of fraud since the historic August 2016 flooding. Another one was arrested Tuesday.
Officials with the Baton Rouge Police Department say they were contacted by the victim, saying she had entered into a written agreement with Edward Stark Sr., the owner of Big E Construction, on October 27, 2016. The victim says the contract was to fix her home on Eaton Street in Baton Rouge, which was damaged in the August flooding.
The victim says Starks was supposed to fix electrical wiring, home line, flooring, dry wall, plumbing, sheetrock, and replace the doors in the home. Her mortgage company issued her a check for $15,791 for the repair and named Starks as a payee. The victim says she gave Starks $5,200 at the beginning of the job, then another $5,200 when the electrical work was completed.
The victim claims Starks told her he needed more money up front to purchase materials, but that she never saw said materials delivered to her home. The victim also reportedly sent a demand letter to Starks to finish the work on her home, but got no response. She then contacted Habitat for Humanity to help finish the work on her home. The organization informed her all the electrical work had to be redone because it was installed improperly.
Officials then learned Starks' contracting license was fake. At this time, the victim is suffering a loss of $10,400.
Starks was arrested on Tuesday, December 4. He is charged with misappropriation of payments, residential contractor fraud, and theft of $5,000 but less than $25,000.