SAN ANTONIO – Two men accused of taking as much as $600,000 from victims in a roofing scam are headed to prison, the Bexar County District Attorney's Office said Monday.
Mark Anthony Rodriguez, 45, pleaded guilty Monday to theft with a repeat offender enhancement and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the DA's Office said.
Richard Stevens, 54, pleaded guilty to theft last week and was also sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Officials said the men owned Durizon Roofing, and in 2015 and 2016, they took money for roof repairs and never completed the job. Many of the victims were elderly residents.
"These defendants preyed on some of our most vulnerable residents, people who trusted the men who promised to repair hail-damaged roofs and paid thousands of dollars only to be left with roofs in disrepair,” District Attorney Joe Gonzales said.
Rodriguez, who was previously convicted of murder, faces a parole revocation on that charge.
Once Stevens completes his sentence on the theft charge, he will have to serve 41 months in federal prison for wire fraud.
The DA’s Office offers the following advice to avoid becoming a victim of a scam:
Immediacy. If someone tells you that you must take the deal as soon as possible, say no. Take the time to verify any licensing the vendor tells you he or she has. Do an online search to see reviews. Corroborate any information that person has given you from an independent source. In this case, Durizon Roofing said it was bonded and insured but they were not.
Secrecy. If you’re being told to keep the deal between the two of you, say no.
Untraced forms of payment. A deal in cash makes it hard to prove a crime has been committed – and it may also be a guarantee the scammer won’t come back unless they think you have more cash to steal.