PARKER COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — A Rockwall County man was arrested following what is being called a “lengthy” investigation of defrauding people who contracted with Seventy 18 Construction, LLC.

According to Parker County Sheriff Russ Authier, the case investigation began in the early part of 2021 when a complaint was filed claiming people were entering into service contract agreements with suspect Richard Derek Wortham, but were not receiving those services. The victims reported Wortham, 37, of Heath, Texas, kept the money instead.

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Sheriff’s investigators said Wortham, who is the owner of Seventy 18 Construction, entered into binding agreements with the victims to pour concrete and provide metal for various construction jobs.

One victim claims he entered into a contract with Wortham and paid him more than $26,000 but never received the services or materials. The victim said once the contract was signed and the money exchanged they never saw Wortham again.

Sheriff’s investigators discovered Wortham used the funds paid by the victim for his personal and travel expenses without any business-related transactions or purchases made to his account.

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Sheriff’s investigators also collaborated with Laramie County Sheriff’s Office in Wyoming and found Wortham allegedly swindled several victims there for more than $100,000.

Sheriff’s say Wortham had set up several business names in Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, scamming dozens of victims and never providing services or materials and that his business social media pages included photographs of construction jobs and projects that had been downloaded from other businesses on Pinterest.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Police identified and arrested Wortham as he was boarding a flight to Cancun, Mexico, on July 15. He was booked into the Parker County Jail the following day and released on a $30,000 bond on July 24.

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Some of the charges Wortham faces in Texas and other states include theft of property and unauthorized use of personal information.

CBSDFW.com Staff