Home Improvement Fraud — Louisiana

Posted by & filed under Crimes Defined, Criminal Statutes, Economic Crimes, White Collar Crime.

New Orleans Contractor Fraud Criminal Attorney

 

Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans White Collar Crime

Update: During the 2014, this statute was repealed and replaced by the crime of Residential Contractor Fraud!

 

If you are being accused of committing Home Improvement Fraud, it is imperative that you have a hard-working attorney advocating for you.  Your contractor’s license could be in jeopardy — Contact Elizabeth B. Carpenter Law.  We are ready to work on your case today!

Home Improvement Fraud —  La RS 14:202.1

 

Home improvement fraud is committed when a person who has contracted to perform any home improvement, or who has subcontracted for the performance of any home improvement, hereinafter referred to as “contractor”, knowingly engages in any of the following actions:

(1)  The failure to perform any work during a forty-five-day period of time or longer after receiving payment.

(2)  The use by a contractor, or by an agent or employee of a contractor, of any deception, false pretense, or false promise to cause any person to enter into a contract for home improvements.

(3)  The damaging of any property of any person, by a contractor, or by an agent or employee of a contractor, with the intent to induce that person to enter into a contract for home improvements.

 

For purposes of this Section, “home improvement” means any alteration, repair, modification, or other improvement to any immovable or movable property primarily designed or used as a residence or to any structure within the residence or upon the land adjacent thereto.

 

The following shall constitute affirmative defenses to a violation:

(1)  The work could not be performed due to excessive inclement weather conditions, and the work to be performed is outdoors.

(2)  The work could not be performed due to the failure to receive necessary materials.

(3)  The work could not be performed for justifiable medical reasons which can be verified.

(4)  The work could not be performed due to the inability to access the job site.

(5)  The parties have contracted to provisions which are different than those provided by this statute, and those provisions are clear and unambiguous.

(6)  The contractor has written verification of job completion.

(7)  The work could not be performed due to the inability to obtain proper work permits.

 

Penalties

Whoever commits the crime of home improvement fraud shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars and shall be imprisoned for not more than 6 months when:

(1)  The home improvement fraud is an act specified of this Section, and the person with whom the contract for the home improvement has been entered into has been paid an amount of less than three hundred dollars.

(2)  The home improvement fraud is a first offense commission of an act of this Section.

(3)  The home improvement fraud is an act of this Section, and the cost to repair the damaged property is in an amount which is less than $300.00 dollars.

 

Whoever commits the crime of home improvement fraud shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than 2 years, and shall be fined not more than f$5,000.00 dollars, when any of the following occur:

(1)  The home improvement fraud is an act of this Section, and the person with whom the contract for the home improvement has been entered into has been paid an amount of $300.00 dollars or more, but less than $500.00 dollars.

(2)  The home improvement fraud is a second offense commission of an act of this Section.

(3)  The home improvement fraud is an act of this Section, and the cost to repair the damaged property is in an amount which is valued at three hundred dollars or more, but less than $500.00 dollars.

 

Whoever commits the crime of home improvement fraud shall be fined not more than twenty thousand dollars and shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than 10 years, if the home improvement fraud is committed under any of the following circumstances:

(1)  The home improvement fraud is an act of this Section, and the person with whom the contract for the home improvement has been entered into has been paid an amount of $500.00 dollars or more.

(2)  The home improvement fraud is a third or subsequent offense commission of an act of this Section.

(3)  The home improvement fraud is an act of this Section, and the cost to repair the damaged property is in an amount which is valued at 500.00 hundred dollars or more.

(4)  The person with whom the contract for home improvement is entered into is a disabled person.

(5)  The person with whom the contract for home improvement is entered into is 60years of age or older.

 

For the purposes of this Section, the following shall apply:

(1)  Lack of knowledge of the person’s age or disability shall not be a defense.

(2)  Restitution shall be ordered by the court.

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