Louisiana Revised Statutes Tit. 14, § 202.1. Residential contractor fraud;  penalties

A. Residential contractor fraud is the misappropriation or intentional taking of anything of value which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations by a person who has contracted to perform any home improvement or residential construction, or who has subcontracted for the performance of any home improvement or residential construction.  A misappropriation or intentional taking may be inferred when a person does any of the following:

(1) Fails to perform any work during a forty-five-day period of time or longer after receiving payment, unless a longer period is specified in the contract.

(2) Uses, or causes an agent or employee to use, any deception, false pretense, or false promise to cause any person to enter into a contract for home improvements or residential construction.

(3) Damages the property of any person with the intent to induce that person to enter into a contract for home improvements or residential construction.

(4) Knowingly makes a material misrepresentation of fact in any application for a permit required by state, municipal, or parochial law.

(5) Knowingly makes a material misrepresentation of fact in any lien placed upon the property at issue.

(6) Fails to possess the required license for home improvements or residential construction required by applicable state, municipal, or parochial statute.

(7) Knowingly employs a subcontractor who does not possess the required license by applicable state, municipal, or parochial statute.

B. For purposes of this Section, “home improvement or residential construction” means any alteration, repair, modification, construction, 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 to the residence.

C. (1) When the misappropriation or intentional taking amounts to a value of less than one thousand dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned for not more than six months, fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.  If the offender in such cases has been convicted of theft two or more times previously, then upon conviction the offender shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years, or fined not more than two thousand dollars.

(2) When the misappropriation or intentional taking amounts to a value of one thousand dollars or more, but less than five thousand dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or may be fined not more than three thousand dollars, or both.

(3) When the misappropriation or intentional taking amounts to a value of five thousand dollars or more but less than twenty-five thousand dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years, or may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

(4) When the misappropriation or intentional taking amounts to a value of twenty-five thousand dollars or more, the offender shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than twenty years, or may be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars, or both.

(5) In determining the amount of the misappropriation or intentional taking, the court shall include the cost of repairing work fraudulently performed by the contractor and the cost of completing work for which the contractor was paid but did not complete.

D. In addition to the penalties provided by the provisions of this Section, a person convicted of residential contractor fraud shall be ordered to make full restitution to the victim and any other person who has suffered a financial loss as a result of the offense.  For the purposes of this Subsection, restitution to the victim shall include the cost of repairing work fraudulently performed by the contractor and the cost of completing work for which the contractor was paid but did not complete.


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