A Geismar woman is behind bars after authorities say she presented herself as a licensed contractor and failed to complete multiple repairs dating back from 2016 after being paid over $100,000 from two victims.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office has in custody 51-year-old Tarodel Grey on charges of residential contractor fraud, forgery, and engaging in the business of contracting without authorization after deputies say she engaged in business as a contractor without authority from the State Licensing Board for Contractors as well as using fraudulent means to gain money.
According to authorities, the victim told deputies in October 2016 she entered a written contract with Grey, believing she was a licensed contractor. Grey was hired to perform repairs to the victim's home in Baker after the historic floods of August 2016. The victim says Grey presented her with a certificate from the State Licensing Board, which appeared to be a valid residential contractor license number for Whirlwind.
The victim paid Grey an excess of $62,000 for repairs to her home, authorities say. The repairs remain incomplete, the arrest report states.
Detectives were also investigating an incident where a male victim allegedly paid Grey $40,000 for renovations, which she failed to make the specified renovations agreed upon. In both incidents, Grey claimed to be working under Whirlwind Inc.'s resident contractor license.
When the male victim became unsatisfied with the renovations, he contacted Whirlwind Inc to complain. According to the arrest report, the company then told the victim Grey did work for the company, however, she was not a licensed contractor with the company and was not suppose to be doing any work under the company name.
The victim told police because Grey had not obtained permits nor had the required license to complete the job, his mortgage and insurance company refused to release the remainder of his claim money for any final repairs to be made.
According to documents provided to authorities, Grey was terminated from Whirlwind due to causing legal issues back in February 2017.
According to authorities, when Grey was contacted by Baker Police Department on January 15, she said she would not meet with detectives, but she would be contacting her attorney about the matter. Grey told police she thought the issue was resolved because she spoke with the victim and his attorney, where he was let out his contract without any penalties.
Deputies say a computer search showed the license number for Whirlwind was invalid. During the investigation, detectives learned the state license for Whirlwind was present without the business owner's consent. The owner of the company told police they had canceled their residential contractor license in 2009 and no longer operate as a residential contractor.
Grey was listed as a secretary for the company at the time of the renovations.
The owner says Grey obtained a copy of the old certificate and had allegedly been operating under that business name without consent and the required license.
Grey was transported and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison where it has a $20,000 bond for both counts of contractor fraud.
RELATED STORIES: Contractors arrested for fraud related to August 2016 flood repairs