An Acadiana contractor is duping dozens of homeowners out of thousands of dollars. He's unlicensed, facing violations and was arrested for it, but that's not stopping him.
All Jessica Smith needed, was a new roof. She hired Cajun Contractors LLC, owned and operated by who she thought was Shane Romero. Romero and his workers showed up, ripped off her old one, but never returned again. A similar story shared by many of his victims.
"Shane was very nice. Came every time he needed to come at the beginning until you hand over a check. When you hand over a check he disappears," says Smith. Smith found out what Shane Romero was all about late last year.
"He always has a story about this is when it's coming. This is what's going on, but nothing ever happens," explains Smith.
Smith needed to repair her entire roof after hurricane damage. She met Romero, googled him, and his business with no red flags. She says the work got off to a good start, but it was after the second day when things changed.
"Finished tearing off the tar paper and stuff, and then after that never saw him again," says Smith. It turned from bad to worse when her roof caved in on her kid's rooms.
"I heard a thud and this piece from here to here fell down on top her bed," Smith points out.
That was in November 2012. What smith didn't know. Romero was arrested for theft and contractor fraud in Vermilion parish a month earlier. And Romero is not Shane's last name, it's Leblanc.
Since then Leblanc has cheated dozens of others from Lafayette and four other parishes as recently as last month.
Sharane Gott with the Better Business Bureau says the main reason why people fall into a trap like this are low prices. "You never start with cost. If it's a cheap price, you're gonna get a cheap product," says Gott.
Gott urges before anyone enters a deal, start with trust. Search the Internet and the BBB's website for company history. It's something Smith did , but still fell victim to a con man. He acts and presents himself really professional. You'd never think twice. I learned my lesson," says Smith.
In total smith was out $30,000, fortunately insurance covered almost half. Leblanc has a warrant out for his arrest here in Lafayette parish on theft and contractor fraud.