A man whom the Kenner Business Association has named its member of the year in 2020 was accused of issuing worthless checks, records show.
Tulio Murillo Jr., owner of CMC Construction, was charged in June after two of his contractors approached the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office with complaints that checks he wrote to them had bounced .
Murillo in August pleaded not guilty to two counts of issuing worthless checks. And in an interview on Thursday, he described the case as a “big misunderstanding”.
According to Jefferson Parish court records, Murillo is accused of issuing a worthless check to Grid Iron Construction LLC for “more than $25,000”. an offense which is punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years.
Nina Le Ray, co-owner of Grid Iron Construction, said in an interview Thursday that Murillo wrote her a check for about $150,000 that later bounced. She said Murillo owed her company more than $300,000.
Murillo acknowledged there was “a balance owing” to Grid Iron Construction, but said he did not recall writing the worthless check.
He added that the situation is “convoluted” and described a “domino effect” in which his business has been harmed by a larger contractor. He said the dispute should instead be taken to a civil court.
Murillo was also charged with issuing a worthless check for $4,428 on February 18, 2022 to J&S Restoration Painting LLC, an offense punishable by up to five years in prison.
Jose Oliva Umanzor, co-owner of J&S Restoration Painting, said in an interview Wednesday that Murillo owed him nearly $13,000. Murillo said he sent a cashier’s check to Umanzor earlier this week.
Murillo is well known in Kenner. He is the executive producer and founder of Kenner Hispanic Fest. And the Kenner Business Association lists it online as “Latin Community Liaison.”