PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — For just under one year, the Panama City Police Department has been investigating Roger Ludwig.
Ludwig is originally from Arizona is accused of working unlicensed in Bay County after Hurricane Michael.
Just like hundreds of others in the panhandle, Hurricane Michael rocked the Jimenez’s home. Mario and Kimberly Jimenez have lived in their home for 12 years in Panama City.
“The storm was bad enough. Everything after the storm has been unbelievable,” said Kimberly.
The process of the investigation started after a complaint from the Jimenez family who say they hired Ludwig to help them fix the damage. The couple says though, Ludwig only brought more problems.
They say Ludwig promised to do the work but never actually showed up to get anything done, even after taking close to $40,000 from them.
“The initial insurance check was $34, 344. 86 and he got our deductible which was $3,260.”
Every issue after that, Jimenez says was caused by Ludwig.
“All the problems we’ve had is because of that. He took our money, he deposited it into a local bank, I won’t mention the bank but he deposited it and now we’re fighting with them to try and get the money. We can’t even get it out of them.”
Ludwig was reportedly working under a company based in Orlando but continued to use the name after being let go from the company.
“They were under T. Riley in Orlando. The thing about T. Riley, they did some due diligence after they hired them, found out some stuff they didn’t like and let them go. When I talked to T. Riley it was, ‘we know nothing about them, about any agreement with you and them.’
A termination letter was given and signed by Ludwig on April 25, 2019, but Jimenez says they weren’t aware of this until June. That’s when Ludwig lost a client but gained an enemy in the Jimenez couple.
“I had everybody on board going after this guy because if he did this to me, he’s done it to others and he’s probably still doing it.”
A warrant was put out for Ludwig at the beginning of January 2020. He was arrested in Springfield on January 31.
The Jimenez family was made aware of the arrest during the interview with News 13. See their reaction to the news in the video below.
Since June though, the Jimenez family has been on the search for a new company to help them repair their homes and restore their lives. They say they’re hoping to find a local company to work with this time.
“That’s what we want. Contractors that we can meet with, talk to. We know where you’re at. We can show up at any time of day or night and so hopefully we’re going to get that.”
News 13 also spoke with Panama City Police. They say cases like this sometimes take a little longer to investigate, due to how many steps that need to be taken.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done proving that this is the person that wrote the check or cashed the check so a lot of times we have to get subpoenas then the bank will give us documentation showing. Then a lot of times we have to do a lot of verifications,” said Captain Jon Morris.
Ludwig was charged with contracting without a license, grand theft over $20,000 and also tampering with a victim.
The police report says Ludwig continued to try and contact the Jimenez family even after being made aware of the pending charges against him.
Panama City Police say they are unsure if Ludwig worked with anyone else in the area. If you have any information, call police at (850) 872-3112.