What is construction fraud?

According to the Code of Virginia, A person has committed the crime of Construction Fraud when they have received an advance (money, merchandise, or other thing of value) to perform construction or improvements on a property and then failed to perform the work. Additionally, that person must have failed to return the advance after given sufficient notice.

Sufficient Notice is further defined in the Code. It states that Contractors must be given the opportunity to return the advance before criminal proceedings can be initiated. A certified 15 Day Letter must be sent to the contractor with "Return Receipt Requested."

Prior to filing a report, you must send the 15 Day Letter!

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1. What is construction fraud?
2. Can the contractor be prosecuted?
3. If my situation is civil in nature, what can I do?
4. What can I do to protect myself?