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Contractors plead guilty to fraud

GAUTIER and BILOXI — According to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), two Mississippians have pleaded guilty to home repair fraud on the Coast.

Lee Andrew Thweatt, 50, of Gautier and doing business as L & S Construction, entered his plea Oct. 6 before Circuit Court Judge Robert Krebs in Jackson County. Thweatt was charged in a case where he was paid over $20,000 to repair a home damaged in a fire. He walked off the job without holding up to his end of the agreement, the AGO reports. 

Judge Krebs sentenced Thweatt to serve five years in prison, with five years suspended. He was ordered to be placed in the Jackson County Restitution Center until the victim is paid back in full in the amount of $24,450. He must also pay the Mississippi Department of Corrections a total of $50 per month until he is released from the restitution center.

Alphonse Michelle White, 60, of Biloxi was arrested by the AGO’s Consumer Protection Division for home repair fraud in the fall of 2008.  White appeared before Jackson Court Circuit Court Judge Dale Harkey Oct. 6 and entered a guilty plea to the accusations that he took “a large sum of money” from a St. Martin resident for work to be done on a home, and then failed to complete the work. 

Judge Harkey sentenced White to five years in prison with five suspended and five years probation. White was also sentenced to the Restitution Program until all fines, fees and restitution are paid. White was also ordered to pay a fine of $1000 and a sum of $100 to the AGO’s Crime Victim Compensation Fund and restitution in the amount of $27,833.33 to the victimized home owner.

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