OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced today an Oklahoma City contractor, who was charged with embezzlement in 2016 for failing to install safe rooms, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay restitution to his victims.
Taylor Wheeler, who owned Republic Roofing and Remodeling, was given a three-year deferred sentence and was ordered to pay $37,564 in restitution.
An investigation began by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit after receiving a complaint claiming Wheeler told an Oklahoma City resident he could install a safe room immediately if he received more than $16,000 upfront. The resident gave Wheeler the money, but no work on the project was completed.
After he was initially charged, more victims came forward accusing Wheeler of similar activity.
Following this morning’s court hearing, Attorney General 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 and contact the Consumer Protection Unit in the Attorney General’s office to see if any complaints have been filed against the individual or company.