‘Cajun Navy’ Founder Arrested Over Alleged Contractor Fraud
Jon Bridgers, credited as one of the founding members of the famous Cajun Navy 2016, was arrested by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office after being accused of taking more than $50,000 from a flood victim to complete work that went unfinished.
The victim asserts that Bridgers collected a $15,000 down payment for the work in October 2016, followed by an additional payment of $17,000 in mid-June 2017 and another $7,500 in July when the work was nearing completion, as well as an additional $6,000 for tile work the victim said was never finished.
However, the victim told investigators that Bridgers completed insulation, flooring, drywall, and cabinet work, although he claims flooring was damaged in the process. The victim also said he paid Bridgers another $6,000 for countertops that were never installed before going on to claim that he paid another contractor $17,000 to complete the work.
According to the Sheriff's office, Bridgers has not been properly licensed by the Louisiana Board of Contractors.
Following his arrest Wednesday, Bridgers was released on a $10,000 bond and issued the following statement via the Cajun Navy 2016 Facebook page:
The post reads:
My entire life I’ve built a reputation of being a man of my word. The reports you read in the media are NOT telling the whole story. Let me be clear: I did not defraud anyone.
The situation at hand is the result of miscommunication, not fraud. I attempted to amicably resolve what is a contractual dispute.
Since August of 2016 I have humbly sacrificed countless hours helping neighbors and communities in need whether in Louisiana, Texas or Florida. The Cajun Navy is a nationwide movement and I’m proud to play a small part.
My focus remains on the work the Cajun Navy is doing every day to be prepared to respond to the next disaster, wherever it may be. Your prayers are appreciated.
Jon Bridgers, Sr.