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Contractor who stole $400K in services across Houston area after Hurricane Harvey sentenced to 10 years in jail

Prosecutor: “He was just papering Harris and Montgomery Counties with bad checks."

HOUSTON – A building contractor who stole approximately $400,000 in goods and services from dozens of suppliers and subcontractors across Montgomery and Harris County agreed to a plea deal Monday that included 10 years behind bars.

Benjamin Andrew Wood, 36, pleaded guilty to aggregate theft in Harris County District Court, Monday morning. The deal will coincide with a 10-year sentence delivered by a Montgomery County court. The sentence will run concurrently.

Wood operated as a contractor by taking job after job following Hurricane Harvey, according to prosecutors.

“Prison time is the right result in a case like this because many of these people were cheated while the community was in its darkest hour,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.

Assistant Harris District Attorney Sheila Hansel, a consumer fraud prosecutor, said Monday that Wood papered two counties with worthless checks from closed accounts.

“He was very convincing,” Hansel said.

Many of the subcontractors and suppliers who worked with Wood were never paid and have no hope of being paid, Hansel said.