LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Lauderdale County construction company owner was caught Tuesday after a 9-month-long fraud investigation during which multiple victims came forward, according to officials.

Joel Lane Lamar of Lexington is the owner of Lamar Construction. Over the last 9 months, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has been investigating claims that he committed construction fraud.

On December 2, 2022, LCSO’s Criminal Investigation Division opened an investigation into Lamar’s business and actions after it was alleged by victims that Lamar was accepting large amounts of money to construct residential dwellings, home renovations, and other types of services but was completing little to no work as agreed upon.

LCSO said the initial victim entered into a written contract with Lamar for the construction of a building and after that, obtained a construction loan. The victim reportedly presented Lamar with a cashier’s check for $61,500, but said he never began the construction.

A felony warrant for first-degree theft of property and negotiating a worthless instrument was issued for Lamar on January 5, 2023. A press release was sent out shortly after asking for the public’s help finding Lamar and asking other victims to come forward.

LCSO said after that information was released, multiple people came forward with similar complaints against Lamar. The sheriff’s office said the complaints spanned across several counties in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.

During the course of the manhunt, authorities determined Lamar fled the north Alabama area.

“As the investigation continued, a subsequent felony warrant of arrest was issued for Mr. Lamar for Theft of Property in the First Degree in which it is alleged that Mr. Lamar accepted $103,930 to perform construction and did not perform any work. Numerous other cases are under investigation for similar conduct,” LCSO said.

Lamar was located on Tuesday in Huntsville and taken to the Lauderdale County Detention Center on Wednesday where he remains with no bond, according to LCSO.

If you feel that you have been a victim of Lamar, or Lamar Construction, officials ask that you contact the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at (256) 760-5772 or file a report with your local law enforcement agency.