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Contractor Indicted For Alleged Fraud In Tornado Aftermath

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Contractor Indicted For Alleged Fraud In Tornado Aftermath

A contractor has been indicted by a Putnam County Grand Jury for allegedly committing fraud in the aftermath of the March tornado.

The contractor is Jonathan Rathunde, he faces felony home contractor fraud charges. District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway said as complaints of contractor fraud come in, more indictments could occur.

“There are other situations that we’re looking at that have not been charged yet that we’re looking into to see if it’s appropriate for charges to be brought,” Dunaway said. “But it has recently come to our attention but at this point we do have one contractor fraud case that’s pending.”

Dunaway said that generally speaking, the Tennessee Statute has to be applied to the case to determine if it is a civil dispute or warrants criminal charges.

“Being a contractor or holding yourself out as a contractor and taking money for those services and then not substantially performing those services,” Dunaway said. “So if the criminal intent is present to take funds and not substantially perform the work that’s contemplated, then that’s potentially home contractor fraud.”

Dunaway said this also includes refusing to refund money once it has been requested. He said justice for victims is always important when it comes to people being taken advantage of.

“Anytime people are taken advantage of it’s important to hold people accountable for that, in any case,” Dunaway said. “Things put a bad taste in your mouth certainly when people also suffered a tragedy such as the tornado.”

Dunaway said he believes Rathunde is a licensed contractor. Rathunde was charged under the Tennessee Statute Code 39-14-154 for felony home contractor fraud.



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