OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City contractor pleaded guilty to embezzlement.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit started investigating Taylor Wheeler, who owned Republic Roofing and Remodeling, after receiving a complaint about the contractor.
Wheeler reportedly told an Oklahoma City resident he could install a safe room immediately if he received more than $16,000 up front.
The resident gave Wheeler the money, but officials said no work on the project was completed.
After Wheeler was charged with embezzlement, more victims came forward accusing him of similar activity.
Monday morning, Wheeler pleaded guilty to embezzlement.
He was given a three-year deferred sentence and was ordered to pay $37,564 in restitution to his victims.
Attorney General Mike Hunter applauded the efforts of the Consumer Protection Unit in pursuing the case and bringing restitution to victims.
“I appreciate the agents and attorneys who worked on this case,” Hunter said. “It is unfortunate we have individuals and companies that victimize Oklahomans, who are simply trying to protect their families. My office will continue to prosecute those attempting to take advantage of our friends, neighbors and loved ones.”
Attorney General Hunter urges individuals looking to hire contractors for any reason to consider the following steps to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:
- research the company online
- get references and recommendations
- be hesitant to pay any money upfront
- contact the Consumer Protection Unit in the Attorney General’s office to see if any complaints have been filed against the individual or company.