AG Hood: 13 Contractors Charged With Home Repair Fraud - - The News for South Mississippi

AG Hood: 13 Contractors Charged With Home Repair Fraud

BILOXI (WLOX) -- "We've made a total of 87 arrests on home repair fraud cases since Katrina hit," State Attorney General Jim Hood said Wednesday.

Hood and four members from his local office and one in Jackson held a news conference at the Imperial Palace to announce that with the help of local and federal agencies, they've rounded up 13 contractors.

"We initially started out with 18 warrants, so we still have five more to go in state. We have about 30 out of state that we have to continue to go after," Attorney General Hood said.

Hood said his office is working with 50 to 60 victims and contractors, giving the contractor a chance to do the right thing by going back and finishing the job.

"Unfortunately, there are some on this list that took the money and ran, never did any work at all. Those have been our top priority," Hood said.

Hood said he thought by now, home repair fraud cases would be dropping off, but that hasn't been the case.

"We're gonna come get you if you don't do the right thing by these homeowners. I would have hoped that the message had gotten through, but unfortunately it hasn't to this point. But hopefully it will some time in the future."

Hood added that some contractors tell homeowners that they will file for bankruptcy, thinking they don't have to do anything. Hood said, think again.

"Well, they committed a crime and they may have filed bankruptcy or whatever the case may be, but they still have to pay for the crimes that they commit."

Jim Hood said many of these contractors, if convicted, are looking at a possible five year sentence.

If you have been a victim of home repair fraud, you can call (228) 386-4406 and the State Attorney General's office will begin an investigation.

By AJ Giardina

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