LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Lauderdale County construction company owner was arrested Tuesday after a 9-month fraud investigation that saw officials say multiple victims came forward.
Joel Lane Lamar of Lexington is the owner of Lamar Construction. Over the past 9 months, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has investigated allegations of committing construction fraud.
On December 2, 2022, the LCSO Criminal Investigation Division began an investigation into Lamar’s activities and actions after victims alleged that Lamar accepted large sums of money to build housing, home renovations and other types of services, but that he accomplished little for no work as agreed.
LCSO said the original victim entered into a written contract with Lamar to construct a building and later obtained a construction loan. The victim allegedly presented Lamar with a cashier’s check for $61,500, but said he never started construction.
An arrest warrant for first-degree theft of property and dealing in a worthless instrument was issued for Lamar on January 5, 2023. A press release was sent out shortly after asking for the public’s help in locating Lamar and asked other victims to come forward.
The LCSO said that after this information was released, several people filed similar complaints against Lamar. The sheriff’s office says the complaints involved several counties in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.
During the manhunt, authorities determined that Lamar had fled the north Alabama area.
“As the investigation continued, a subsequent arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Lamar for first degree theft of property in which it is alleged that Mr. Lamar accepted $103,930 to perform construction work and did not do any work. Numerous other cases are being investigated for similar conduct,” LCSO said.
Lamar was located Tuesday in Huntsville and taken Wednesday to the Lauderdale County Detention Center where he remains without bond, according to LCSO.
If you believe you have been a victim of Lamar or Lamar Construction, authorities ask that you contact the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at (256) 760-5772 or file a report with your local law enforcement agency. ‘law application.