HOUSTON – Marcus Thompson is a big, burly, barn-building contractor.
As physically strong as he is, he doesn’t want any part of talking to investigative reporter Bill Spencer or KPRC 2 Investigates.
“Is there anything you want to say to all these people that you’ve taken tens of thousands of dollars from,” Spencer asked Thompson.
Thompson didn't respond.
The fact is, KPRC2 2 Investigates have been chasing Thompson for nearly three years, trying to get answers for hardworking families, such as Chris and Trisha Louviere, of Rosharon.
The Louvieres are a blue-collar, working couple. They're raising three kids, and they, unfortunately, trusted Thompson and paid him more than $21,000 to build them a work barn.
The problem is they got absolutely nothing in return for all that money.
Nothing but broken promises of work that would never be done.
“He’s taken $21,000 from us and has done no work at all. Nothing,” Trisha Louciere said.
Kelly and Lauren Dyer, of Houston, paid Thompson even more -- a total of $34,000 for a pole barn. Instead, what they got was a collection of boards nailed together. There were no walls, no foundation, no roof -- just wood framing.
“He lied, he cheated and he stole from us. He was a fraud the whole way. (He) Stole our money and built us nothing,” Kelly Dyer said.
That's just the beginning.
In all, KPRC 2 Investigates found more than a dozen families who paid Thompson and his Lone Star Barn Company tens of thousands of dollars for jobs that were never even close to being completed.
“Over a period of years, Marcus Thompson scammed multiple victims, accepting money with written contracts to build pole barns or other structures, many times, after receiving a significant amount of money. He did very little work and then walked the job,” Valerie Turner, with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office of Consumer Fraud said.
Almost three years later, it’s finally all over for the barn builder.
The district attorney’s office has investigated him and charged him with aggregate theft over $200,000, a first-degree felony crime that carries a huge maximum punishment.
“The maximum punishment is 99 years, or life, in prison,” Turner said.
After years of claiming he was sabotaged by bad weather, tradesmen who would not show up for work and clients who wouldn’t pay their bills or clear their property properly, Thompson pleaded guilty before Judge Amy Martin in the 263rd District Court.
For Kelly Dyer and so many other families who lost so much of their hard-earned money to Thompson, finally, there is justice they worried would never come.
“Well, just seeing him in court made me angry. But saying that he was guilty. By pleading guilty, that was I think the first time I’ve ever heard him tell the truth,” Kelly Dyer said.
“Would you like to see him go to prison?" Spencer asked.
“Yes, 100%," Kelly Dyer said.
Up next for Thompson is sentencing.
He is slated to be back in the 263rd District Court on Oct. 29.
KPRC 2 Investigates will be there to report on-air and online.