$90k lost in home improvement fraud in Krotz Springs
KROTZ SPRINGS, La. (KLFY) – A contractor from Texas is facing criminal charges in Acadiana. Police in Krotz Springs say he promised to renovate a home, but he took the money, and didn’t finish the work.
“He wasn’t forthcoming on giving any of the materials back, or any of the money back,” said Krotz Springs Police Detective Amber Robin.
Steven Michael Shauer, 38, of San Antonio, is charged with home improvement fraud. Police say Shauer made a deal with a local woman in November 2021, to fix up an old house on Main Street. The woman sent a total of $91,756.54 to do the work. She even sent periodic payments to get it done faster.
However, little work was done, and the project was never finished. Pictures from inside the house, shared with News 10 by police, show exposed walls, and fixtures removed. It’s a remodeling job not even close to being completed. “She had to pay more money to get an electrician to make the residence livable to actually stay in. It was absolutely demolished,” said Robin.
Robin says its was discovered during the investigation that Shauer is not licensed in either Louisiana or Texas. Authorities brought him back to St. Landry Parish earlier this week, to face a charge of home improvement fraud. He was released from jail a short time later on $5,000 bond. “This guy lives all the way in San Antonio, Texas. We have to worry about him coming back to court, and if she’s going to get restitution for any of this,” said Robin.
Police say do your research when working with a contractor, and be wary of handing over large sums of money up front.