FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas contractor was sentenced to 15 years in prison for bilking Tarrant County homeowners, many elderly, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Randy Wayne Sprinkle, 54, pleaded guilty to theft of property in an amount greater than $300,000 and misapplication of fiduciary funds for remodeling projects involving more than a dozen victims over a span of the last 6 years, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorneys Office said in a news release Thursday.READ MORE: Texas Lawmakers Debating Redistricting As Third Special Session Begins At State Capitol
In addition to the 15-year prison term and order to pay $854,000 in restitution for the theft conviction, 396th District Court Judge George Gallagher sentenced Sprinkle to another 10-year prison term and 10 years’ probation for misapplication of fiduciary funds.
Sprinkle admitted during punishment testimony he had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly customers who contracted him to do remodeling projects he never finished, or abandoned in shambles.
Some of the victims were unable to testify against Sprinkle because they died prior to trial.READ MORE: A Closer Look At 4 Drugs Used To Treat COVID-19; What Really Works?
In one instance, a resident hired Sprinkle to make handicapped modifications to a downstairs room in her house for her ailing husband who was no longer able to climb the stairs to the second floor. The work was never completed, her husband passed, and the house remains in serious disrepair from Sprinkle’s shoddy work.
Prosecutor Lori Varnell, chief of the Criminal District Attorney’s Elder Financial Fraud team compared Sprinkle’s actions to notorious convicted financier Bernie Madoff.
“Mr. Sprinkle used a Ponzi business model, robbing Peter to pay Paul. Ponzi used stamps to commit his frauds, Bernie Madoff used the stock market, and Mr. Sprinkle used remodeling and construction as his scam,” Varnell said.
Varnell told the judge, Sprinkle would continue to be a threat to homeowners and senior citizens in Tarrant County, saying, “even after he was arrested and charged for this Ponzi scheme, he did it again. He never stopped.”MORE NEWS: Border Patrol Agents Find Migrants Using Storm Drain To Enter Texas Illegally
When delivering the sentence, Judge Gallagher put Sprinkle on notice he will be there to supervise him personally when he gets out of prison to ensure Sprinkle “does not perpetrate this kind of fraud on Tarrant County homeowners again.”