A Fort Worth couple was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for scamming 27 Tarrant County residents — including a Fort Worth police officer — out of more than $100,000 for roofing work they never started.
Raul Garcia Jr., 41, and his wife Melissa, 40, also must pay $99,000 in restitution.
The couple handed state District Judge George Gallagher a check for $12,000 on Thursday to begin payment. Gallagher ordered the money divided among several of the elderly residents who were bilked.
The sentence came after a two-day punishment hearing for the Garcias, who were taken into custody shortly after Gallagher’s ruling.
The two, whose roofing company no longer exists, had pleaded guilty to theft of property, $100,000 to $200,000, in June, and elected to have Gallagher sentence them.
“We are happy with what the judge came back with,” said Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Sid Mody who along with Harry White prosecuted the case. “Our job was to be sure that justice was served.”
The couple faced a maximum of 20 years in prison.
The scam victims lived in Tarrant, Dallas, Denton and Wise counties, prosecutors said Thursday.
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 in a June interview with the Star-Telegram.
One Tarrant County family paid Raul Garcia Jr. for roof repairs on two houses, but no work was done.
The roofing company’s fees ranged from $2,000 to $7,000.
Raul Garcia Jr. 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.
This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.