3 INVESTIGATION: Home improvement contractor arrested for fraud

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By web staff

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BOSSIER CITY, Louisiana (KTBS) – A local housing contractor that KTBS featured in two investigative reports this week is in jail.

Bossier City police issued a warrant for Richard Paul, 66, and he surrendered to authorities on Thursday. He was incarcerated in the Bossier maximum security center and is being held on $45,000 bond.

Bossier City police spokesman Lt. Bart Cavanaugh said Paul’s arrest stemmed from work not done for a homeowner in Radbrook, south Bossier City. The owner suffered storm damage and Paul estimated the repairs at $112,000. The owner paid Paul $60,000 upfront.

Paul would have caused more damage while working on the house by falling through the ceiling several times. The house then suffered further damage when another storm hit.

After several months of trying to convince Paul to complete the job, the owner filed a complaint with the Bossier City police. The owner told investigators that Paul admitted to having no money to pay her back or complete the job, Cavanaugh said.

Paul isn’t even allowed to do that kind of work, Cavanaugh said. Paul is only licensed by the state to do non-residential work up to $70,000.

KTBS spoke with Paul twice on the phone. He canceled an on-camera interview scheduled for the morning it was supposed to take place. Starr made several trips to Paul’s office on Youree Drive but no one was there.

Tommy Wimbley, one of the owners who said he paid Paul’s contractor, Coleman, $11,000 for a job that was never done, recorded his conversation with Paul on his cell phone. Paul is recorded as saying he was going to take care of the undone work on the Wimbley home. Wimbley’s response: “You’ve been telling me that for five months.”

Wimbley blames Coleman as the “mastermind” behind the problems with the company and describes Paul as an “entrepreneur with a license to fly”.

As KTBS documented on Thursday, Coleman is a convicted felon, having been twice convicted of home improvement fraud. He was ordered to pay more than $36,000 to two victims.

Bossier City police say any other property owners in the city who have unfinished work under contracts with Paul or his company should contact them and file reports.

KTBS 3 Investigates reporter TW Starr has been investigating Paul and his business, People’s Choice Flooring and Remodeling, for the past few weeks. The investigation was prompted by complaints from viewers about Paul’s business practices.

Homeowners scattered across ArkLaTex say Paul and one of his contractors, Todd Coleman, were paid to carry out home repairs but did not follow through. A Shreveport woman said she paid the company $74,000 in July 2020. And a Coushatta woman said she lost $30,000, while a plumber said Paul owed her $7,000.

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