Contractor with spotty past arrested for felony theft

Published: Nov. 7, 2014 at 5:51 PM CST|Updated: Jun. 27, 2017 at 6:27 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A contractor with a spotty past is now facing additional legal issues due to his arrest for felony theft.

James K. Fussell, 56, was arrested by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office on Friday, Nov. 7. He's accused of bilking a plumber out of $8,271.73 for two purchases made via his company, Custom Homes.

"The complainant stated that the items for the first purchase were picked up at his business and the items for the second purchase were delivered to an address where a home was being built by the accused," the deputy noted in the probable cause report.

Fussell allegedly stopped payment on both of the checks that were issued as payment for the purchases.

"The complainant concluded by stating that he spoke to [Fussell] about this matter and [he] stated he did not have the money to pay his business," the deputy added.

Both purchases were made between April 21 and May 9, 2014. The Louisiana State Licensing Board revoked Fussell's contracting license around this same time, but it was due to accusations unrelated to this case.

"This contractor was brought before the board for problems relating to the ability of the contractor to engage in the business of contracting," explained a representative for the LSLBC.

Roughly a month after having his license revoked, Fussell filed suit against to the Licensing Board. Judge Timothy Kelley ruled in favor of Fussell and ordered that Fussell's license be reinstated.

"The Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC) strongly disagrees with Judge Kelley's decision this morning to reinstate Custom Homes by Jim Fussell's residential contracting license and will pursue all available legal channels to appeal the ruling," stated a press release issued after the ruling. "The Board is dedicated to enforcing the licensing laws of this State. In the opinion of the Board, the revocation of Custom Homes by Jim Fussell's residential license was appropriate and well supported."

An appeal has been filed and is pending before the First Circuit Court of Appeal.

According to court records, Fussell is battling several civil cases. One involves the Attorney General's Office. Investigators for the Attorney General's office were serving Fussell with a subpoena in relation to that case when they located him and arrested him for the warrant from EBRSO.

Fussell is currently booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

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