June 15, 2024

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**Handcuffs sitting on a table in this archive image. (Credit: Getty Images)**

In a joint operation, the Sheriff’s Offices of Talbot County, Georgia, and Lee County, Alabama, have apprehended an Alabama man. He allegedly defrauded a senior couple of $88,000 through a sunroom construction scheme.

The complaint was lodged on July 12, stating David Jason Baggett, the proprietor of JL&B Home Improvements, LLC and Window Depot of the Chattahoochee Valley of Columbus, as the accused.

The Talbot County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) reported that Baggett conned the elderly couple, who live in Talbot County, of $88,000 under the pretense of adding a sunroom to their house. The contract was signed on October 21, 2022, and an advance of $43,000 was given to Baggett.

Over half a year, Baggett sent a series of emails to the couple, each time giving different reasons for the delay in construction. On March 21, 2023, he requested the balance payment, assuring that the sunroom project would commence, to which the couple complied with an additional $45,000.

However, Baggett ceased all communication after a point, leading the couple to demand a refund. Despite the stipulation in the contract that the sunroom should be ready by April 12, no progress had been made.

Baggett reportedly moved substantial sums between various banks after discontinuing communication with the couple. Following a thorough investigation, the TCSO issued three felony charges of Theft by Deception and two counts of Exploitation of a Disabled Adult against Baggett on July 28. His arrest was made later at his Salem, Alabama home, courtesy of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

As per the latest update, Baggett has been extradited to the Talbot County Detention Center.

Related Questions

1. What are the typical signs of construction fraud?

Some common signs include contractors asking for large upfront payments, offering remarkably low estimates, inconsistent communication, lack of clear contracts, and multiple excuses for delays.

2. How to protect oneself against construction fraud?

To keep oneself safe, always research the contractor, sign a detailed contract, keep track of transactions, avoid large upfront payments, and maintain regular communication.

3. What are the legal consequences of construction fraud?

The legal consequences will depend on the jurisdiction. Typical penalties include fines, restitution (paying back the stolen money), community service, and jail or prison sentences. In some cases, the perpetrator may also face felony charges.