The owners of a Fort Worth roofing company pleaded guilty Tuesday to bilking 27 Tarrant County residents — including a Fort Worth police officer — out of more than $100,000 for work that they never started.
Raul Garcia Jr., 40, and his wife, Melissa, 29, entered their plea to a charge of theft of property, $100,000 to $200,000. Their company no longer exists.
“He is ashamed of what he did, and he wants to make everything right,” Samuel Terry of Fort Worth, Raul Garcia’s attorney, said Wednesday. “We are working closely with the DA to determine proper restitution.”
The couple will be sentenced pending completion of a pre-sentencing investigation, which could take 60 days, officials said.
They could receive probation or a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“We are going to hope for the best,” Terry said.
Theft charges are still pending against Raul Garcia in Dallas and Denton counties, where he is also accused bilking residents for roofing work.
The company, R&A Construction, operated from May 2011 until August 2012. The company was also known as R&M Construction and R&M Contracting, according to the Better Business Bureau Fort Worth website.
The victims in Tarrant County include Fort Worth police Sgt. Delbert Johnson.
“I was in uniform when we talked, so it was pretty bold of him [Raul Garcia] to do that,” Johnson said Wednesday. “I lost $2,350, but I don’t expect to ever see it again.”
In a previous Star-Telegram interview, Johnson said that his roof sustained hail and wind damage in summer 2012 and that a fellow officer recommended Raul Garcia.
“He came out and estimated the repair at $4,500,” Johnson said in November. “He said he needed to be paid half to get supplies. I didn’t know him, but because another officer had recommended him, we gave him a check for half the cost. He went straight to the bank and cashed it.”
Johnson said he never saw Raul Garcia again.
“Now I just want to see justice,” Johnson said Wednesday. “All I needed was a roof.”
One Tarrant County family paid Raul Garcia for roof repairs on two houses, but no work was done.
Terry said Wednesday that some fees ranged from $5,000 to $7,000 but that most were $2,000 to $3,000.
Raul Garcia was listed as the company owner and his wife as the office manager, according to the BBB’s Fort Worth office. The company listed its services as roofing, tile work, painting, granite and concrete.
The business started on Feb. 20, 2003, and the BBB office received information that it closed in September 2012.
The Garcias filed for bankruptcy in Fort Worth in 2013, claiming they had $16,438 in assets and $246,483.79 in debts, according to federal court documents.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763