MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - An elderly couple is scammed out of their savings after trusting a contractor to remodel their home, Midwest City police say.
Steven Ray Gregg and Bradley Kyle Chrismon are now facing a charge of exploiting an elderly person.
The victim, Donald Schaffer, grew up in a time where you could trust a handshake and a person's word.
But now his trust in strangers has forever changed.
"He just did it without asking, you know?" Schaffer said.
He said Gregg knocked on his door last fall and told him he needed a new driveway.
"(Looking back) I feel like a fool," says Schaffer.
But at the time, he says Gregg seemed trustworthy, but he kept suggesting other renovations - new rails, porch posts, a paint job, and brand new
fence, which was never completed.
Gregg would not stop suggesting, and starting, new projects, Schaffer said.
"(I told him) Just quit," he said. "I said you're running me out of money and I don't want to spend that much on it."
He said Gregg would insist he finish projects, and sometimes became a bully.
Before it was all done, the bathroom was remodeled - so was a back room.
"He went ahead and sheet rocked it, insulated it, put the ceiling in and the ceiling fan."
In the end, police say the couple wrote Gregg and Chrismon 20 checks totaling $162,800.
"The house, fair market value, is around 65 to 85 thousand dollars," Midwest City Assistant Chief Sid Porter said. "So almost twice the cost of what it would have been to build a brand new house."
Not one of the checks was more than $10,000.
Port says that's not a coincidence.
"There's different parameters, rules and regulations, but it seems like (a crook) likes to stay under that ten thousand dollars because it doesn't kick up at a local bank."
Porter said Tinker Federal Credit Union noticed all the check writing, and discovered Schaffer was the victim of a scam.
"He's probably ripped a bunch of people off right here in Oklahoma City and they don't even know it," Schaffer said.
Steven Gregg has been convicted of DUI, using bogus checks, and larceny of merchandise.
Police say the couple might get some of their money back through the court system.