Texas couple arrested in Lake Charles for alleged contractor fraud

State News

Jennifer Guerra, William Deremer, III

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KLFY) — A Pearland, Tx., couple have been arrested by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) after a complaint over possible contractor fraud.

William D. Deremer III, 39, and Jennifer L. Guerra, 36, both face charges of residential contractor fraud of $25,000 or more and having no license to be a residential contractor. They have both since been released on $40,000 bonds.

According to CPSO Public Information Officer Kayla Vincent, Deremer and his company, Southern Outfitters, were hired in August 2020 to complete tree removal along with other home repairs at the victim’s residence. The victim initially paid Deremer $28,000.

The victim later told investigators she learned Deremer falsified documents and sent them to her insurance company, which included billing for equipment that was never onsite. The victim said she received a bill from Deremer for approximately $80,000 worth of work that was not completed at the residence. 

Meanwhile, the initial check for $28,000 was cashed by Guerra, Deremer’s girlfriend who also worked for Southern Outfitters. Detectives learned neither Deremer nor Guerra possessed a contractor’s license in Louisiana at the time the victim entered into an agreement for repairs and made the initial payment. 

An arrest warrant was issued for the couple on May 15, and they were arrested July 12.

The CPSO and the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office are working together to fight contractor fraud.  If you believe you have been a victim of contractor fraud or are unsure whether an actual crime has been committed call the Contractor Fraud Response Team at (337) 437-3405.

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