INDIANAPOLIS -- A home improvement contractor accused of ripping people off has been arrested after nine months of being wanted by law enforcement.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Unit arrested Jerry Hatten, 49, Saturday morning at the Super 8 Hotel on West Bradbury Avenue.
The arrest comes just weeks after Call 6 Investigates aired a report about Hatten’s business practices.
Hatten, a convicted felon, had been wanted since failing to appear in court in October.
He’s currently facing 17 felony charges for theft and check deception stemming from six separate criminal cases in Marion and Jackson counties.
In court Monday, the judge appointed Hatten a public defender and set a bond review hearing for August 21.
Call 6 Investigates showed up to court to ask Hatten questions about all the people who say Hatten owes them money, but Hatten did not respond.
As she was leaving court, Hatten’s wife said she did not know anything about Hatten’s business practices.
Bill Whitley of B&E Tree Service showed up to the hearing, saying Hatten owes him $3,000.
“There’s other people around this city he’s ripped off and he does need to be known,” said Whitley. “I showed up in court today to pull a number and get in line just like the other people he’s ripped off. I need to be paid back too.”
Carlene and Keith Hall told Call 6 Investigates they paid Hatten more than $6,000 to remodel their home, but Hatten did not do the work and has yet to provide a refund.
“He built up such a big rapport with me,” said Carlene Hall.
Prosecutors have not filed criminal charges in the Halls’ case.
In addition to the Marion County cases, Hatten is also facing five felony counts in Jackson County for allegedly stealing $150,000 from subcontractors.
Subcontractors contacted the Seymour Police Department after they said Hatten hired them to do work on hotels like Motel 6, Quality Inn, Economy Inn and the Salt Creek Inn, but the checks provided by Hatten showed “insufficient funds.”
Hatten could potentially face 9 to 16 years in prison if convicted in the Jackson County case.
It’s unclear if Hatten’s cases will have to be resolved in Marion County first before he can be transported to Jackson County, or if the criminal cases will be handled simultaneously.
Hatten spent time in state prison in 2009 and 2010 for fraud on a financial institution, records show.
The Halls hope Hatten will not be able to take money from other homeowners or subcontractors.
“I don’t want it to happen to anybody else,” said Carlene Hall.
Since Call 6 Investigates ran the story about Hatten, his Hatten LLC profile on Angie’s List no longer contains any information or reviews.
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