A West Monroe contractor sued in an April lawsuit for converting a couple’s money for his own personal use was recently arrested by Ouachita Parish sheriff’s deputies on one count of contractor’s misapplication of payments in a different case.
Dennie J. Huddleston, 60, was arrested on a May 22 warrant and posted a $10,000 bond, according to Fourth Judicial District Court records records,
Court records showed that Huddleston, who has an Eros address, and the victim entered into a contract in July 2018 agreeing that the victim would be financially responsible for labor and materials that would be provided by Huddleston or his representatives to build a house on Arkansas Road in West Monroe.
The records show that in October 2018 a draw request was made by Huddleston to the victim that consisted of 12 different payment descriptions totaling $227,285. One items listed was for a deposit of $7,500 for some custom screens from Smith Blinds. The victim approved all the items and wrote a check for the entire $227,285.
In January 2019, Huddleston, the victim and another individual met to discuss the construction, which had then exceeded cost expectations. Also discussed was work completed and where draw money had been spent. It was discovered then that Smith Blinds still had not received its deposit, the report showed, and it was agreed that Smith Blinds would be paid immediately.
On April 1, the victim received an invoice from Smith Blinds totaling $15,875 of which $7,375 was due.
“This was the same money Huddleston received in the draw back in October of 2018, but he never paid,” the report stated, and the victim paid Smith Blinds on April 2 “essentially for a second time.”
Investigators with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office reported they checked with the other vendors to confirm current payments and all checked out except Russell Moore Lumber. The victim had to pay the lumber company nearly $30,000.
Glenn Springfield, the sheriff’s public information officer, said detectives are continuing their investigation into this case as well as others.
As previously reported by The Ouachita Citizen, a West Monroe couple filed a lawsuit in April against Huddleston, Guaranty Bank & Trust and two of the bank’s employees, claiming their money and properties were wrongfully converted for the defendants’ benefit.
Michael and Ellyn Langston filed the lawsuit in Fourth Judicial District Court claiming the defendants Guaranty Bank and its employees, William “Bill” Crawford and Stacey McFarlin, and Huddleston were responsible for the couple’s profound financial losses.
According to the lawsuit, the Langstons’ claims for damages stemmed from work performed by a spec home business co-owned by Michael Langston and Huddleston’s son, Joshua Huddleston. Spec homes, or speculative homes, are houses built before a buyer has been lined up. Michael Langston and Joshua Huddleston built the spec homes as LH Group LLC. When Langston and Joshua Huddleston built spec homes, they hired Dennie Huddleston as the contractor or builder.
The lawsuit claimed that Dennie Huddleston possibly pledged $200,000 in profits from the sale of one of those spec homes to pay a court judgment in a separate lawsuit in which he was involved.
McFarlin, a bank employee, was responsible for inspecting building sites to determine whether sufficient work was completed to warrant a draw on the loan by the contractor, according to the lawsuit. She evaluated draw requests on the spec homes while in a relationship with Huddleston and received gifts from him, the lawsuit claimed.