Ex-Inmate Charged With Home Repair Fraud | Free News
An Ellisville business owner has been arrested and charged with fraud after being accused of cheating at least three people out of nearly $ 75,000 in home repair work.
Arthur Cooksey, 44, was arrested on August 24 after a client filed an affidavit in Jasper County Court of Justice in the First Judicial District for home repair fraud, and he was charged . The Jasper County Sheriff’s Department has received a complaint of home repair fraud in the community of Rose Hill, Sheriff Randy Johnson said.
“The plaintiff reported that Cooksey Construction had been hired for home repairs,” Johnson said. “The Complainant reported that Cooksey requested and received a large amount of money in advance to purchase equipment for the job.”
Cooksey would not return to complete the job after receiving the funds, and the completed job was not quality work, according to the complaint. He was arrested and released the next day.
Cooksey posted on Facebook on August 26 after being arrested the first time he was arrested because of a dissatisfied customer.
“And one of my competitors used that to his advantage by slandering my business on social media,” Cooksey wrote. “As most of you know, every story has two sides. If it had been as bad as it sounded to me, I wouldn’t have been able to do this post.
The client who wasn’t happy with the company’s work had nothing to do with the money, they just didn’t like the work my guys were doing, Cooksey wrote.
“So I decided to purify the air with all my enemies,” he continued.
Then the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department received another complaint with the same charges against Cooksey.
Cooksey was arrested and charged with parole violation by Jones County Sheriff’s Department, then transported to Jasper County Sheriff’s Department after another affidavit was filed Aug. 27 for reparation fraud domiciliary. Apparently, Cooksey asked for a large sum of money to buy supplies for the job, and after receiving the money, he would not answer the phone or return calls. All three complaints suggest home repair fraud for amounts of $ 46,000, $ 12,000 and $ 16,000. According to a complainant, Cooksey allegedly asked customers to pay cash in advance for building materials.
Johnson said the sheriff’s office received several other complaints about Cooksey Construction, but no further affidavits were filed in court.
Jenny Hayes Barnes Shoemake posted on Facebook that she hired Cooksey Construction to install new subfloor and flooring in a small den and kitchen.
“I paid him $ 12,000,” she wrote. “He installed the cheapest flooring. I paid him $ 5,900 on May 12 for materials. We have moved our furniture three times, they did not appear.
They arrived on August 2, she wrote, and she moved and trusted them to do a good job.
“Aug. 6, he wanted $ 500 more for materials and $ 6,000 for labor than I paid him for,” Shoemake wrote.
Shoemake wrote that when she saw the repairs she asked Cooksey Construction to come back to fix them and he refused.
He scammed a lot of people and said he was doing disaster relief, which is scary, Jenny Shoemake said.
“They didn’t tear off all the black molded plywood, they just put flooring on it,” she wrote. “The ground is sinking. ”
The bottom line is that it is ripped out again because there is black mold, Shoemake said.
“He loved making nonprofit profits,” Shoemake said. “He scammed us for $ 12,000. I have messages where people have already been ripped off by him. He wouldn’t even give us a material list and wouldn’t bring us the list or what it costs. “
“I have another contractor coming in to do an estimate,” Shoemake said. “We didn’t know he was on parole when he did this and he’s not licensed or bonded in Mississippi.”
In another Facebook post, Sherry Hayes wrote that Cooksey took a lot of money for materials up front because he wanted to lock in prices for lumber at Lowe’s “by paying it up front.”
“He never bought any material, and he kept our money because he said he had a contract between us?” Everything he said about putting the documents on hold was a lie, ”Hayes wrote. “Arthur Cooksey is in prison and his Cooksey’s Construction business must be closed!
Cooksey was convicted of two counts of robbery and burglary in January 2014 and was sentenced to two years of house arrest, with eight years suspended, according to a Leader-Call report. But the judge ordered him to serve eight years behind bars after Jones County MPs found methamphetamine, a crack pipe and pills in his vehicle during a traffic stop in 2016. He was charged possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia.
The Jones County Sheriff’s Department purchased a gram of methamphetamine from Cooksey, so he was charged with selling a controlled substance, court records show. He also violated his release agreement because he failed to pay the nearly $ 16,000 he owed his victims and legal costs.
Anyone else who believes they have been defrauded by Cooksey is urged to contact their local law enforcement agencies.