A Baton Rouge contractor accused of defrauding victims of the August flooding in three parishes pleaded not guilty Monday in East Baton Rouge Parish to four counts of residential contractor fraud and one count of filing or maintaining false public records.
In addition to those five counts, 39-year-old Matthew Morris faces 84 counts in Ascension Parish and another 51 counts in Livingston Parish.
Morris, who appeared Monday before state District Judge Tony Marabella in shackles and an orange prison jumpsuit, is being held in the Livingston Parish jail. His next court date in the 19th Judicial District Court is June 28.
Already under indictment in Ascension and Livingston parishes, jailed Baton Rouge contractor…
Morris, CEO of Complete Construction Contractors in Baton Rouge, has been indicted in East Baton Rouge, Ascension and Livingston parishes. The charges in Ascension and Livingston include contractor and insurance fraud, theft and extortion.
Morris, according to law enforcement officials, would start work, demolition and even mold remediation but later inflate the costs to his clients. When clients received the final bill to finish their homes, they would cancel their contracts only to have Morris file property liens in local courthouses based on fraudulent fees and other costs after offering a settlement, authorities have said.
Defense attorneys for indicted Baton Rouge contractor Matthew Morris said Friday that their …
Homeowners have said the liens prevented them from completing their homes, chased off other contractors and held up insurance payouts.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office also has accused him of bank fraud and another related count over the use of challenged property liens as collateral for a line of credit from a Houma bank.