La. AG Says Contractor Fraud Fugitive Arrested in Fla.

March 5, 2007

Attorney General Charles C. Foti, Jr., recently announced that his office has arrested an individual suspected of defrauding numerous homeowners in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles Parish who were trying to repair their Hurricane Katrina damaged homes and who were allegedly defrauded out of approximately $500,000.00, combined.

On Feb. 21, 2007, Attorney General Special Agents, with the assistance of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Dana Abboud, owner of AB Coastal Construction Inc., on three counts of felony theft related to contractor fraud in Orleans Parish.

Attorney General Special Agents allege that Abboud fled to Boca Raton, Fla., to avoid apprehension. At the time of his arrest, Abboud was living in an exclusive luxury condominium in Boca Raton. Abboud was transported to Louisiana where he was booked into Orleans Parish Prison. Upon booking in the Orleans Parish Prison, a hold was placed on Abboud for 17 counts of felony theft related to contractor fraud and 17 counts of forgery in Jefferson Parish.

On Feb. 23, 2007, Abboud was charged with one count of felony theft related to contractor fraud in St. Charles Parish. Abboud’s bond was set at $90,000.00 in Orleans Parish. AB Coastal Construction, Incorporated was located at 4130 Florida Avenue in Kenner, La.

The AG’s office alleges that Abboud used two different methods to victimize homeowners in the greater New Orleans area who were trying to rebuild their Hurricane Katrina damaged homes.

First, when homeowners entered into contracts with Abboud to repair their hurricane damaged homes, the victims were allegedly told that AB Coastal Construction would handle all work permits related to their repair job and communicate with their mortgage companies.

Victims were allegedly instructed by Abboud to send the checks from their insurance companies to him once they were endorsed and he would send the checks to their mortgage companies. However, Special Agents allege that Abboud did not remit the insurance checks to the mortgage companies, but instead forged the name of the mortgage company on the check and deposited the checks into AB Coastal Construction’s checking account. Upon further investigation, Special Agents found that the mortgage companies did not receive the insurance checks from either the homeowners or AB Coastal Construction.

Consumers were allegedly further victimized when the construction contracts they had with AB Coastal Construction were not honored, with little or no repair work done to the residences after the construction company received payments.

Abboud has also been charged by Florida authorities with contractor fraud in cases similar to those in Louisiana. Through their investigation, Attorney General Special Agents have also linked Abboud to alleged fraudulent construction activity in Nebraska, Missouri and Texas.

This investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.

If convicted of Felony Theft over $500.00, Abboud faces a possible sentence of imprisonment, with or without hard labor, not more than 10 years, or may be fined not more than $3,000.00 or both.

If convicted of Forgery, Abboud faces a possible sentence of a fine not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than 10 years or both.

If you have any information on Dana Abboud and or AB Coastal Construction, Inc., please contact the Louisiana Attorney General’s Investigation Division at 225-326-6100.

Source: La. Attorney General’s Office

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