October 20, 2009
Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast four years ago, but the impact is still being felt in southern Mississippi. In the wake of the storm's devastation, scam artists spread man-made havoc across the region as well.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says two out-of-state contractors have been arrested for felony home repair fraud against Katrina victims on Mississippis Gulf Coast.
Carlos Enrique Sanchez of Pearland, Texas (dba Mineo Homes) was arrested on three indictments for felony home repair fraud. Sanchez and his now former business partner, Samuel Mineo were indicted for failing to do work they were paid to do on three homes that were lost due to Hurricane Katrina.
Mineo turned himself in to the Attorney General's Office in October 2008. Sanchez did not turn himself in after agreeing to do so and has since been considered "on the run." The Mississippi Attorney General's Office requested the assistance of the Texas Attorney General's Office after learning Sanchez was in Texas. He was arrested in Austin, TX on September 16, 2009 by the Texas Attorney General's Office and returned to Mississippi last week by the Harrison County Sheriff's Office.
Sanchez was booked into the Harrison County Adult Detention Center. He faces up to 10 years and/or a $10,000 fine, plus restitution to the victims. The case was investigated by the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney Generals Office and will be prosecuted in conjunction with District Attorney Cono Carannas Office.
"We would like to thank Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Travis County Texas Sheriff Greg Hamilton and both of their offices for all of their work in this case," Hood said. "Their teamwork combined with the efforts of Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara, District Attorney Cono Caranna and their offices will make sure this case reaches a just resolution."
Additionally, Ed Schreader, age 43, from Birchwood, Tenn., working for Hurricane Relief Corp., was arrested on this month following an indictment for one count of Felony Home Repair Fraud.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office investigated the case and obtained the indictment following allegations by a Gulfport homeowner that Schreader obtained $30,000 to fix a home damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but failed to do the work.
The indictment was served by the Harrison County Sheriffs Office and Schreader was booked into the Harrison County Adult Detention Center where he posted $5,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years and/or a $10,000 fine plus restitution to the victim.