A Zionsville man lost more than $20,000 to a woman accused of home improvement fraud, according to court records.

Vichitia Tyagi gave a check and $4,000 cash to Trina Thigpen, 50, of Carmel, owner of T&T Painting, for building materials in October 2018, police reported.

She was arrested Friday after no work was completed on the pole barn she and an employee were to extend for Tyagi, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Tyagi said Thigpen’s employee returned two times after that, but no substantial work occurred and no materials were delivered to his home, Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy Clint Stewart reported.

The employee eventually asked for another chance, and Tyagi bought the same materials again at a home improvement store but, again, no one from the company came to do the work, according to court records.

Tyagi called police in April to report fraud.

Thigpen claimed she bought the materials but a second employee stole them and she’d pay Tyagi back when her insurance company reimbursed her, according to court records.

A man who still worked for Thigpen told police she bought the materials and had them delivered to Tyagi’s home, Stewart reported.

A Boone County Sheriff’s detective said Thigpen could not provide a receipt for the construction materials, nor proof that she’d made a claim with her insurance company.

Craig spoke with the employee Thigpen accused of theft, and the man said he worked for her less than a month until she told him she didn’t have enough money for payroll and told him to tell clients that the company was out of money, would file for bankruptcy and would not complete jobs they were hired to do, the detective reported.

Thigpen was being held in the Boone County Jail in lieu of bond and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in December on charges of theft and home improvement fraud.

For tips on avoiding contractor fraud, visit the website at www.amfam.com/resources/articles/at-home/avoiding-contractor-fraud.

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