LaPlace man in $20,000 con, say officials

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 11, 2006


Staff Reporter

PLAQUEMINE-A man who had allegedly been conning River Region residents for vehicle repair expenses totaling at least $20,000 over several months starting in 2004 is in custody after being turned over to St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office by Plaquemines Parish. Deputies had stopped the man on a traffic violation when he was arrested.

The man had been operating Milennium Teck High Performance, Inc. at 1205 La. Highway 628.

Gerald J. James Jr. was contracted to provide vehicle repairs to several area residents during the time that he operated the business.

In taped statements by complainants to police, it was revealed that during that time he accepted work from many different people and required payment up front for the repairs and did provide receipts.

&#8220The vehicles were brought to James where he promised to repair them and many of them advised police that their cars were never fixed. In some cases, James asked for additional money to complete the repairs, &#8220 said Mike Tregre, spokesperson for St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office.

&#8220The customers attempted to contact the company numerous times to ask about their cars or parts, only to find out that the shop had been closed and told police that as far as they knew, the vehicles had not been repaired,” Tregre said.

James was booked with two counts of theft by fraud and writing NSF checks.