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Builder arrested for Katrina fraud

GULFPORT — A Louisiana man turned himself in to authorities after being indicted by a grand jury for home repair fraud, according Attorney General Jim Hood.

James Randolph Helmes, 45, of Denham Springs, La., is charged with felony home repair fraud after allegedly being paid for work he failed to complete and/or never began. The home involved was located in Gulfport, and was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Helmes was booked in the Harrison County Adult Detention Center, and his bond was posted at $10,000. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and/or a $10,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office with assistance by District Attorney Cono Caranna’s Office.

As with all cases, the charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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