Richard Wortham established construction businesses in Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, promoting a variety of services to customers and taking in more than $100,000.
Investigators say it was all a scam.
Authorities say Wortham entered into service contracts all over the country, and he never returned to a customer’s address to start construction projects including one in Parker County in January.
His business social media page included photographs of construction projects, but investigators learned they were just photos downloaded from Pinterest.
Worthham was arrested July 15 at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport as he was boarding a flight to Cancun, Mexico, on warrants out of Parker County and the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office in Wyoming.
The Parker County warrant was for theft of property $2,500 to $30,000 and the Wyoming warrant was for unauthorized use of personal information.
The 36-year-old Texan was released from the Parker County Jail in Weatherford on July 24 after posting $30,000 bond.
One of his bond conditions was that he surrender his passport, Parker County Sheriff Russ Authier said in a Wednesday news release.
Investigators with the Parker County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation earlier this year when a resident filed a complaint against a construction business.
That business was Seventy 18 Construction, LLC, owned by Wortham, who lives in Heath. The town is about 85 miles east of Weatherford.
The resident told deputies he had entered an agreement with Wortham to pour concrete and provide metal for various construction projects.
That resident paid Wortham $26,350 for services and material, but once the money was exchanged, Wortham never showed up, the sheriff said.
Deputies working with JP Morgan Chase Bank investigators discovered Wortham used the money to pay for his personal and travel expenses, and never used the cash for business-related transactions or purchases.
At the same time, investigators determined Wortham had set up several businesses in other states, scamming customers in those states for more than $100,000, according to the news release.